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The Catherine Wheel

Nooo! This is a documentary about The Catherine Wheel? I thought it was gonna be the ballet? Boo! I hate documentaries! So much!

I wanted to see the ballet!

Perhaps we’ll get the performance after this horrible documentary? This DVD is 90 minutes and hopefully they can’t do a 90 minute documentary…

Well, as documentaries go, that wasn’t bad. I was just disappointed that this wasn’t the show.

But there’s also the show!!!!

Oh my Emacs. I’ve listened to this album so many times…

… since I was a teenager. It’s such a beautiful album by David Byrne…

Oh! This isn’t just a ballet! It’s a whole technological thing!

It’s got all the video fades available at the time!

I love this, but isn’t this more like… er… pantomime than ballet? I mean, they aren’t dancing much? But they’re like acting a lot?

OK, now there’s more dance.

The dancing doesn’t reference the music much at all. Was this originally choreographed in complete silence? And then David Byrne was brought on to score the dance after it was filmed or something?


That was something. The first … two thirds? weren’t very ballet at all, but seemed to track the music somewhat. The final half hour (ish) was totally ballet, and it was so weird — the songs changed, and the dancing didn’t alter at all.

I loved all of it, but it was very strange.

I also wonder how it was filmed — this DVD looked very smudged, but I couldn’t see any video artefacts — was this filmed on film (like 16mm)? Or was is high grade video? If it was film, I wish somebody would make a blu ray release of this, because I’d totally buy it again and watch it again on blu ray.

The Catherine Wheel. Twyla Tharp. 1982.

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