When German-born Tanja Liedtke died, aged 29, in 2007, she was on the point of taking over artistic directorship of the globally renowned and respected Sydney Dance Company.
As dry as that sounds, the implications of this achievement are fully explored in Mason’s documentary on a life lived uncompromisingly in, with and through modern dance: a life lived as close to the chasm of potential failure as it was to the sheer drop of emotional honesty that inspired her choreography and dancing.
Liedtke’s legacy lies mainly in the work she developed during her time with the Australian Dance Company. Using video recordings of performances in which she participated and took around the world, Tanja – A Life in Movement merges sequences above all from “Twelfth Floor” and “Construct” with a memorial tour of these works that her colleagues and partner carried out after her death. Merging these impressive artistic statements with interviews and footage that Liedtke shot of herself in preparation for new choreographies, Mason has formed his own choreography of a dedicated life, aptly rewarded with a Ruby Award in 2011.
You might think you’re not a fan of modern dance. Watch this film and you’ll find that you are.
Tanja – Life in Movement | Directed by Bryan Mason, (Australia 2011). Starts October 31