Ballroom Dancer

Christian Holten Bonke & Andreas Koefoed

Poland 2012, 1h 18min.

CPH:DOX opened with an entertaining documentary with Russian Slavik Kryklyvyy, Latin American dancer, as the main character, who tries to make his way back to the top, where he was the best in the world – 10 years ago.

The film shows him training and competing with the partner Anna Melnikova, also his girl friend, who suffers from the constant change of temperament of Slavik, who corrects her at the same time as he declares his love to her. Onedimensional, the film is, and mid way through the story, the film goes dead, for a long period, coming up again with a beautiful sequence where the two, after having been apart, and after she has met another man, good for her, perform in a rehearsal room to the tunes of ”You were on My Mind”. That dance is great to watch but after the dance, she leaves the room and he sits alone back.

A real Film scene, but in this context far too pathetic as the story is not really developed to justify that point of drama. There are for sure many fine documentary observations in the film, but why is it that you leave the cinema without being touched, is it because your reaction to the main character is ”who cares”, is it because you get no information about his previous life – it seems strange that there are no scenes with Slavik and his former partner Joanna, who wins all the competitions we see in the film – is it because the music score is far too loaded in its attack on making the viewer feel, is it because the filmmakers actually did not have enough material to make this feature duration drama that it is stretched out to be?

Modern Times Review