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Finding North (movie)

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  • TV Picks: Dancers, TV writers, inside autism and a Web fave

    TV Picks: Dancers, TV writers, inside autism and a Web fave
    "Dancing at Jacob's Pillow: Never Stand Still" (PBS, Friday). My tears having overrun every cup in the cabinet upon the recent cancellation of "Bunheads," I turn with relief and excitement to this documentary bouquet on the famed western Massachusetts dance school, camp and venue -- a place, says (the late) Merce Cunningham, "where people could quietly or not think different and act different." Founded in 1931 by Ted Shawn on a tumbledown farm in the Berkshires, where James Taylor later found the 5th of December all covered in snow and Tanglewood tangles with music, "The Pillow" (as it's known to its intimates) is a paradise of woods and water where artistic minds and well-trained bodies, often in the same person, combine to make art out of movement -- from the Balanchine-derived ballet of Suzanne Farrell to the choreographed vaudeville of Bill Irwin. Narrated by choreographer Bill T. Jones (seen briefly dancing himself), Ron Honsa's film flits back and forth in time, telling its story with contemporary and archival performance clips that for all their individual brevity express a great collective bounty, and an impressive roster of on-site talking heads, including Paul Taylor, Judith Jamison, former Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo star Frederic Franklin ("There were no ladies to be lifted around," he remembers of his early tenure there, when Shawn's own, all-male choreography set the tone) and Mark Morris, who looks with affection upon his young students, who are "still having fun and don't know that they're going to die."