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Phoenix Dance| 22mins
Director: Karina Epperlein | Producer: Karina Epperlein
Focus Years: 2006 | Country: United States
Subject Tags: americas, health, relationships, spiritual awareness, united states
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
The film “Phoenix Dance” shows us the beauty and strength of one individual who defies our expectations of what it means to be “disabled.” In March 2001, Homer Avila – who had been dancing with Twyla Tharp, Bill T. Jones, and Mark Morris – discovered that the pain in his hip was cancer. One month later, his right leg and most of his hip were amputated. What unfolds is the story of the pas de deux called “Pas”, which the renowned Alonzo King choreographed for Homer, now missing one leg. The film is an intimate poem, revealing that when heart and will are joined, the impossible happens. Through interviews, studio rehearsals with the demanding choreographer, and the theatre performance, we witness a deeply moving collaboration. Interdependence, trust, and the process of “strength-building” by overcoming challenges in life, come visually alive. These themes could not be expressed more poignantly than in a duet for a one-legged man and a two-legged woman. In their dance, a creature with three legs and four arms emerges. The traditional roles are reversed: the man's vulnerability and the woman's strength complement each other, sweetly. And in their solo outbursts they spur each other on to great heights. “For me a pas de deux is a microscopic look into relationship,” Alonzo King says in the film, “and relationship could mean you with yourself... It could mean a part of you that’s dying. It could be you and your God, you and nature... wherever there is two negotiating or becoming one or struggling.”

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Karina Epperlein

United States


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