TF Archives

Dances Of Ecstasy - A Special Screening

Author: Clea Woods
Thursday, November 27, 2003
DANCES OF ECSTASY is a sensory journey into the mesmerising world of trance and ecstasy that binds dancers from Manhattan to Morocco.

Filmmakers Michelle Mahrer and Nicole Ma travelled to traditional and modern day rituals to discover what is the altered state experience which people seek through dance. In these rituals, Whirling Dervishes from Turkey, Orisha priestesses from Nigeria and Brazil, and shaman healers from the Kalahari and Korea, pulse to the same beat as thousands of young people at an all night techno dance party in an Australian forest.

DANCES OF ECSTASY celebrates the universal human experience where rhythm and dance unite us.

Throughout history states of ecstasy were a way of
connecting with a divine power. The film explores the many levels of trance and discovers that what links them together is the human need to connect
with a spiritual dimension ­ a living part of many traditional cultures, which modern culture seeks to recapture.

DANCES OF ECSTASY is a visual and aural feast for the senses, an innovative documentary blending exciting dance rituals, evocative imagery, interviews
and a spellbinding global music soundtrack. The film is an inspiration to dance, and to reconnect with a sense of the sacred that many have lost touch with in modern life.

Filmmakers Michelle Mahrer and Nicole Ma began working in New York as a producer/director team of music videos. On their return to Australia they
created LUNA PICTURES, which specialises in films which explore cross cultural themes. Michelle Mahrer is one of Australia¹s leading dance filmmakers.

Her works include television documentaries on the Bangarra dance theatre, choreographer Meryl Tankard, and leading Australian ballerinas Lucette Aldous, Marilyn Jones and Marilyn Rowe. Australian Producer Nicole Ma began her production career in New York working as a location manager on feature films including Spike Lee¹s Malcolm X. Ma was Executive Producer of multi media for the new National Museum of Australia.

"Dances of Ecstasy" is enthralling in its evocation of a mental and physical release that most of us long for" Adrian Martin Film reviewer The Age

"thoroughly researched and years in the making Dances of Ecstasy provides fascinating insights into authentic tribal rituals" Beat Magazine

"It is not often that a film comes along that offers its audience such a compelling insight into the role dance plays in the lives of so many diverse groups of people." Ruth Williams Cinephile

A screening of DANCES OF ECSTASY
Followed by a Q & A with filmmaker Michelle Mahrer
Wednesday December 3, 7.00pm
Cinema Nova
Tix now on sale: $10/$7