Dance. A simple five letter word that has the potential to open new regions of the mind. To stimulate thoughts and emotions in a way very few mediums are capable of. Even in today's modern world, anyone who regularly attends their local theater will agree - film and television just can't duplicate, the experience seeing a live show can create. Those who don't agree? They probably don't see many live shows - if any at all. The idea itself may seem boring and mundane - but once you do it, there's no turning back. The live spectacle, the sights and sounds - there's a reason live productions still exist today. You simply can't top an honest to goodness real life experience. That includes making a film about them. As for the work that goes into these things? Even something as seemingly simple and natural as a dance? It's astounding. A work of beauty, vision and art. The more simple and natural they seem - just means that much more work was put into them.
Are you wondering what exactly all that has to do with this short film? What I've written above sums up "A Dancer's Journey Through The Holy Land" quite neatly if not simplistically. In under thirty minutes, us viewers get to witness some of the hard work that goes into a live dance performance. The choreography, the hard work and even bits of the actual number. This is a creation documentary, allowing us to follow along during pieces of the inspirational process - and creation of the production itself. Nothing more. Nothing less. It's a visual experience, with interview-type segments cut in. Maybe not the most polished of documentaries I've watched, but more than enough to get the job done. Bruce Nicholson's film definitely won't be for everyone - but that's just fine. Like anything else in the art related world... you'll either get it or you won't.
I'm going to steer clear of a big technical section. Nicholson's flick really isn't a run of the mill movie. Even by documentary standards. It plays more like a visual journal, so don't expect any fancy edits or sweeping visuals. "A Dancer's Journey Through The Holy Land" gets to the point... and stays on point. No room for frills and slick presentations. With that written however, the images are clear and to the point. What more could you ask?
Earlier, I wrote that this film won't be for everyone. I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I'm one of those everyone. I have no problem appreciating what I've watched, I just can't really relate. If dancing and choreography are your thing, you'll obviously love this much more than I did. If this is your thing, completely disregard my rating. I'm sure you'll easily get more out of this film than I did. At the same time, I did manage to watch the entire film with no desire to hit the stop button. I'm not sure if it was fascination, or that I felt almost mesmerized at times - perhaps both. But I can't discount those feelings by claiming how ignorant I am of live productions. For this reason, I feel Bruce Nicholson's film is still average even for the casual viewer. For those in the know? I expect to be beat on the head regarding my review. Maybe add a star or two. For myself? A solid two and a half stars.