Dance DVDs – From ballet to hip-hop, dancing is infectious

You may have already watched David LaChapelle’s video of Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin’s  cover of Hozier’s “Take me to Church”

or Mikhail Baryshnikov & Lil Buck in the Rag & Bone fashion shoot,

or more recently, Maori performing arts group Tāreikura’s poi dancing on Beyoncé’s “Move your Body” videos. These are three examples of dance videos that went viral online.

For more Dance news, follow the excellent Guardian Dance blog.

You may have also been to one of our Central Library’s Tales from the Ballet sessions with Royal New Zealand Ballet legend Sir Jon Trimmer.

RNZBIf you haven’t yet, come to this Saturday morning’s session at the Central Library  or head to Karori, Kilbirnie or Johnsonville library next week for a chance to learn about ballet steps and positions – and to try them out – explore the art of mime and gesture, and hear some of the wonderful stories of the world’s greatest ballets, from an icon of New Zealand dance who has performed them all.

Inspired? You may want to head to the New Zealand School of Dance Open Day on Saturday 25 July and Sunday 26 July 2015 at 10am.

Developed a dance addiction yet? To delve further into the fascinating world of dance, check out our extensive DVD collection of dance movies of all genres, documentaries about dance and dance performers and our music DVDs of famous ballets and dance musicals. These films will make you want to move, beating the winter chill in the process.

Syndetics book coverLife in motion : an unlikely ballerina – Misty Copeland
“As the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to become a ground breaking ballerina.” (Cover)
This documentary is particularly timely as Misty Copeland just became the first African-American woman to be named a Principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater.

Syndetics book coverBudding stars of the Paris Opera ballet
“The Paris Opera Ballet School, established 300 years ago, is a legendary place, with an international reputation. It is the most famous dance school in the world, where the greatest “ťoiles” or principal dancers are trained. In September 2011 it was home to 130 students, aged from 8 to 18, all driven by the same desire – to dance one day at the Paris Opera. A film crew was allowed to accompany them for a whole school year and this six-part series chronicles their busy training schedule and their day to day experiences. There is no assurance that all the students will return the following year to dance alongside the stars they dream of. As well as adjusting to living away from their families, to remain in the school they must also learn to deal with criticism, adhere to strict requirements and discipline, and learn personal responsibility.” (Cover)

untitledMao’s last dancer
“Drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao’s cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLa danse, the Paris Opera ballet
“Follows the rehearsals and performances of seven ballets: Genus by Wayne McGregor, Medea by Angelin Preljocaj, The House of Bernarda Alba by Mats Ek, Paquita by Pierre Lacotte, The Nutcracker by Rudolph Nureyev, Orpheus and Eurydice by Pina Bausch, and Romeo and Juliet by Sasha Waltz. The film shows the work involved in administering the company and the coordinated and collaborative work of choreographers, ballet masters, dancers, musicians, and costume, set, and lighting designers.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPina
This film written, directed and produced by Wim Wenders depicts the life and work of Pina Bausch, dancer and choreographer, who died in 2009 which features some of her greatest choreographies as performed by her Tanztheater Wuppertal ensemble. (Adapted from Syndetics)

6First position
First Position follows the inspirational footsteps of a group of young talented ballet dancers aged nine to sixteen as they struggle to maintain form in the face of injury and personal sacrifice on their way to one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world: the Youth America Grand Prix. Lifelong dreams are at stake, with hundreds of dancers from around the globe travelling to New York each year, competing for a handful of elite scholarships and contracts. Practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected. Struggling through bruised feet and near exhaustion all while navigating the drama of adolescence and family life, First Position combines built-in drama, tension and suspense with exciting and beautifully shot performances. With the diversity of each dancer’s backstory coupled with a showcase of awe-inspiring talent, tenacity and passion, First Position recalls documentaries such as Spellbound in painting a thrilling and moving portrait.” (Fishpond)

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Dresses, Jewels and Artworks: new fashion books for March

Welcome autumn with our varied new fashion books for March! If you ever find yourself struggling to part with particular items in your wardrobe, you’ll enjoy Lorelei Vashti’s Dress, memory, where she discusses her emotional associations with individual pieces in her wardrobe. Art and fashion lovers alike will love Chanel art; a catalogue of artworks created by Karl Lagerfeld especially to set the scene for a 2013 fashion show for the illustrious label. The new dual biography about Alexander McQueen and John Galliano will delight any fashionista, and our luscious new book on Italian Damiani jewellery provides lots of delicious eye candy. You’re welcome.

Syndetics book coverDress, memory : a memoir of my twenties in dresses / Lorelei Vashti.
“As we grow older, how do we know what to let go of and what to keep?… Lorelei started collecting dresses in her twenties and found that every time she wore one it became more significant to her. From falling in love for the first time to playing in a band, from starting a career to moving overseas, every dress soon had a memory stitched into it, and she became as attached to each one as if they were the events and people themselves…But what happens when the wardrobe gets full? Should you let go of the dresses you’ve outgrown, or try to hold on to them forever?..’Dress, Memory’ is about a decade in dresses. Perceptive and poignant, humorous and heartwarming, it’s the story of growing up and growing into yourself. It’s about trying things on until you find the perfect fit.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverChanel art / by Karl Lagerfeld.
“For the set of Chanel’s Spring-Summer 2014 Prêt-à-Porter fashion show on 1 October 2013, Karl Lagerfeld transformed Paris’s Grand Palais into a vast art gallery filled with specially created Chanel artworks. Chanel Art is a record of this gallery and unique moment in fashion history. The myriad themes of art similarly shaped Lagerfeld’s collection-from dresses printed with color charts, fabrics like canvases spattered with paint, to graffitied art students’ backpacks-all proof that the designer’s fashion creations and the sets in which they are shown are themselves like single consolidated “artworks”.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverDance & fashion / edited by Valerie Steele.
“Lavishly illustrated with both contemporary and historical images, the book features essays by ten fashion experts, who explore various aspects of the reciprocal relationship between dance and fashion, from the liberating effects of the tango to the influence of ballet on Japanese girl culture. Designers featured include Leon Bakst, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Halston, Barbara Karinka, Isaac Mizrahi, Rodarte, Yves Saint Laurent, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Valentino, and Iris Van Herpen” (Publisher’s website)

Syndetics book coverGods and kings : the rise and fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano / Dana Thomas.
“Fashion columnist Thomas paints a grim portrait of the fashion industry in this dual biography of John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, two influential London-born designers who came of age in the world of high couture in the early aughts and whose careers hit critical tipping points with devastating results.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverHow to draw vintage fashion / Celia Joicey & Dennis Nothdruft.
“In this guide, Joicey and Nothdruft, the head and curator, respectively, of London’s Fashion and Textile Museum, offer younger audiences a fresh look at vintage fashion through drawing it. A time line covering decades of the 20th century from 1920s through the 1990s provides the historical backbone of the book. Dozens of step-by-step drawing exercises of signature looks of various bygone eras comprise the bulk of the work. This fun survey of 20th-century fashion is surprisingly informative, whether or not you choose to follow the drawing lessons.” (adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverHalston : inventing American fashion / Lesley Frowick ; with a foreword by Liza Minnelli.
“Written by Halton’s niece and confidant, this is the first monograph to chronicle the designer’s life and his glamorous, minimalist aesthetic.” (Jacket flap)

Syndetics book coverDamiani : alchemy of desire, a story, a family and an Italian passion / edited by Cristina Morozzi.
“Marking the company’s ninetieth anniversary, this lushly illustrated volume showcases Damiani’s tradition of creative and beautifully crafted jewelry-the best of Italian style. Damiani jewelry represents the highest expression of Italian style: unique pieces created with passion and craftsmanship for three generations. Founded in 1924 by Enrico Grassi Damiani, personal jeweler to the nobility, the company celebrates its ninetieth anniversary with a lavishly designed volume that focuses on tradition, craftsmanship, and creativity. Today, Damiani’s clientele includes many highly visible celebrities around the world.” (