Watch William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet
- 1 hr
William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet is a 2009 documentary-style film that chronicles the creation of a ballet based on a spoken-word album by William Shatner. The film follows Shatner, along with musician Ben Folds and choreographer Margo Sappington, as they work to bring the unconventional project to life. The film opens with footage of Shatner's 2004 album, "Has Been," which features spoken-word tracks set to music by Folds. The album received critical acclaim, and its success inspired Shatner to work on a stage production based on the material. Shatner's goal was to create a ballet that would break traditional conventions and blur the lines between high and low art.
The film follows the production team as they collaborate on the project, with Shatner providing guidance and input throughout the creative process. Shatner's spoken-word performances are brought to life through dance, with Sappington choreographing a series of complex and visually striking sequences that interpret the music in unique and unexpected ways.
The film also delves into the personal lives of the production team, exploring their individual struggles and frustrations as they work to bring the project to fruition. We see Folds grappling with the challenges of composing music that will work in a dance context, and Sappington pushing her dancers to reach their full potential. Shatner, meanwhile, struggles with the demands of the project and the pressure of living up to his own expectations.
Throughout the film, we see performances of the ballet interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the production team. These performances showcase the sheer creativity and artistry of the production, as well as the skill and talent of the dancers who bring the choreography to life.
One of the film's major themes is the importance of taking risks and pushing boundaries in the arts. Shatner, Folds, and Sappington are all united in their desire to create something new and innovative, even if it means breaking with traditional artistic traditions. The film also tackles larger questions about the relationship between art and commerce, with Shatner expressing frustration at the industry's narrow definitions of success and artistic integrity.
Overall, William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet is a fascinating and highly engaging documentary that offers a unique window into the world of experimental art. The film provides an intimate look at the creative process, showcasing the joy, frustration, and occasional chaos that goes into bringing a unique vision to life. Ultimately, it is a celebration of creativity, risk-taking, and the human spirit.
William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet is a 2009 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.