Work / Film

Poignant short on life, death and dance with Bowie and Kate Bush’s choreographer

Musing on movement as freedom and the ravages of age on the body, this short directed by Adrian Sibley is one of the most affecting things I’ve seen all year, and that’s before you even get to the bit about its star’s backstory. The film, entitled Stopping Time, documents dancer Lindsay Kemp, a seminal figure in the world of choreography having taught David Bowie and Kate Bush “how to move.” The film is shot in Livorno in Italy, and shows how aged 77, Lindsay still has the poetic way about him of an idealistic young dreamer, but his body has begun to show his years. Though he still teaches dance, he’s sanguine about how his age has affected his movements, and the way he narrates his tale is both beautiful and utterly heartbreaking. Adrian says: “I knew what I hoped to capture – an honest, thoughtful moment in an older man’s life still doing what he loves.”

He adds: “Lindsay is not only a charming man but has had an amazing life as an artist and has touched many others. A gay man that to some critics was just a decadent imp whose ability to outrage was his only real instrument, and to others an inspiration who proved that you didn’t have to conform to the image of what a dancer should be. For me, he represents a creative freedom that is rare today. I wanted Lindsay holding on to his desire to dance in his last years and being free which as he says is the most important thing we have.”

The film is part of a series on new platform Postcards, set up by production house Just So to showcase short documentaries from emerging and established filmmakers. Postcards is funded by Just So and Sheffield Doc/Fest.

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Adrian Sibley: Stopping Time (still)

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Adrian Sibley: Stopping Time (still)

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Adrian Sibley: Stopping Time (still)

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Adrian Sibley: Stopping Time (still)

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Adrian Sibley: Stopping Time (still)

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Adrian Sibley: Stopping Time (still)