Please note: And Then We Danced contains a sequence of flashing lights which might affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.
An instantly engaging and moving tale of a young male dancer’s sexual awakening in contemporary Tbilisi, Swedish filmmaker Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced is personal and political, romantic and educational. Georgian dance is not just codified and muscular, it is, as a powerful ballet administrator puts it, “the spirit of the nation.” A nation that has zero tolerance for homosexuality. Those traditions loom large in this edgy portrait of a conservative society that still has the power to ostracise citizens who dare to be different.
Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani) and his brother David are gifted dancers with the National Georgian Ensemble. Their father – now reduced to selling old car parts in a ratty market – once danced in major international venues, as did the boys’ grandmother. Despite his skill and obvious talent, Marab is criticized for being “too soft.” His life is turned inside out with the arrival of Irakli (Bachi Valishvili), sparking both a strong rivalry and romantic desire between the two.
And Then We Danced breathtakingly sets up a passionate tale of love amid a highly conservative society. Against a hauntingly beautiful backdrop of the Georgian dance and music culture, this film deftly challenges the notion that masculinity must be ‘straight.’ As Merab proves, once this rigidity is tested, tradition can evolve over time and transform into different things for different people.
Sweden, Georgia, France