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AN EVENING WITH MIRRA BANK 

AND LAST DANCE

Featuring a Q&A with the director on September 16th 

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Sag Harbor Cinema will host a special screening of Last Dance, a documentary that goes behind the scenes of the American modern dance company Pilobolus in collaboration with author-illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are). The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Mirra Bank, and moderated by director/producer Susan Lacy. 

Last Dance takes audiences inside a gloves-off collaboration, where each artist’s idea of the piece is challenged by an opposing vision of equal authority. Joining forces to create an art work that  would speak of the Holocaust, Sendak and Pilobolous quickly discovered their respective takes were quite different. Will anyone want to see another Holocaust story? Can it be both moving and irreverent? From the first day of improvisation in the studio, Bank followed Pilobolus and Sendak for over one year as they transformed the haunting legacy of the Holocaust into a stark and provocative dance-theater piece that comes to life onstage as “A Selection.” The piece quickly established itself as one of Pilobolus’ most powerful works. 

The movie captures the trial-and-error improvisational style of creating a work inspired by Sendak’s personal connection to the Holocaust. Bank and her crew had total access to the film’s subjects, and her documentary weaves vérité rehearsal scenes, probing interviews, rare Holocaust footage, and thrilling performance into a uniquely intimate look at the incredible tenacity and wit that drive the creative process when serious artists work together.

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Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote of the film, “The movie provides an intimate glimpse of how sensibilities as compatible as oil and water forced themselves to blend and create a successful work despite their aesthetic differences.”

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Tickets are available at sagharborcinema.org.

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For more information on the film, see below:

LAST DANCE

Dir. Mirra Bank

USA, 2002; 83 mins, in English

Powerhouse creative forces unite – and sparks fly – in Mirra Bank’s Last Dance, as the dazzling Pilobolus dance company and legendary author-illustrator, Maurice Sendak, collaborate on a dance-theater work that honors a haunting Holocaust legacy. Riveting rehearsal footage, probing interviews, chilling Nazi-era footage, and breathtaking performance weave into a thrilling insight into the creative process. Last Dance holds nothing back as philosophies clash, confrontations abound, and artistic disaster threatens at every turn.  But in the end, we are rewarded, as Pilobolus dancers – pure bolts of force and grace – give life to a stark and stunning new work.

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Sag Harbor Cinema

As a not-for-profit 501(c)3, community-based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving and educating about films, filmmaking, and the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image – from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016, SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village. SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise and can purchase food and drink at our concession stand, cafe, as well as our member-only rooftop lounge, The Green Room. 

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 Top Photo: Art Last Dance — © Otis Cook Photo

Bottom Photo: Maurice Sendak on the set of ‘A Selection’ / Photo Gail Marks.

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AAQ / Resource

Araiys Design Landscape Architects

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