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Dancing Across Borders -- Trailer for this dancing documentary


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A young man's journey from Cambodia to the ballet stage in America.
On a trip to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia in January 2000, filmmaker Anne Bass came across a 16... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Beautiful showcase of dance and the human spirit. See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)
Sokvannara 'Sy' Sar ... Himself (as Sokvannara Sar)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anne Bass ... Herself
Peter Boal ... Himself

Philip Glass ... Himself - Musician
Olga Kostritzky ... Herself - Ballet Instructor

Benjamin Millepied ... Himself
Jock Soto ... Himself
Damian Woetzel ... Himself

Directed by
Anne Bass 
Produced by
Jill Campbell .... associate producer
Anna Miller .... associate producer
Catherine Tatge .... producer
Cinematography by
Robert Elfstrom 
Anthony Forma 
Tom Hurwitz 
Film Editing by
Girish Bhargava 
Mark Sutton 
Art Department
William Loccisano .... graphic artist
Richard Pandiscio .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Ray Day .... sound
Tom Ryan .... sound editor
Jeanne Sison .... audio post producer
Charles Tomaras .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
John Gordon Hill .... additional camera operator
Robert Richman .... additional camera operator
Editorial Department
John Dowdell .... HD Colorist
Peter Heady .... digital intermediate finishing artist
Jean Lane .... digital intermediate producer
Daniel Oh .... assistant editor
Tim Spitzer .... digital intermediate supervisor
Stephen Vittoria .... editor: Theatrical Trailer
Other crew
Anna Miller .... associate producer
Elise Rasmussen .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

88 min


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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Beautiful showcase of dance and the human spirit., 15 May 2011
Author: TinyPliny from United States

I spotted Dancing without Borders in my local library because of its absolutely stunning cover: a graceful yet somehow fierce young man in an impossibly high leap across a lush green canvas with Philip Glass playing on a grand piano in the background. It was too striking to ignore. I had never heard of the film before and watched it with no expectations and absolutely no idea about the characters.

The storyline was very simple. A wealthy US dance patron spots a talented Cambodian dancer in a remote village and finances his ballet training in NYC. A ballet super-star is born. But don't be fooled by the simplicity of the story. Dancing across Borders is a very compelling film from start to finish. I just couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Every little sequence is beautifully shot and perfectly narrated. Simplicity can sometimes be very powerful. Dancing Across Borders is a perfect example of just how powerfully artistic story-telling can transform a seemingly simple story into a complex multi-layered tale of the charmed life of Sokvannara "Sy" Sar

The alien nature of ballet as a dance form to Sy is matched by his unfamiliarity with English as a language and compounded by the culture shock of living alone in the US, without any family and very far away from home. The film documents his journey through this absolutely bewildering maze of unique challenges. It weaves its way through his initial shaky steps in ballet (which were incidentally shot just to video-document his progress during dance lessons and not really meant for this film) and showcases his sheer dedication to the dance and his single-minded determination to be better.

The film has this inherent lyricism about how it presents the story. Cambodian as well as western classical music is used extensively to transition between Cambodia and the US. Ballet music adapted for the piano is always quite amazing and the movie has these piano pieces by the spadefuls. Sy's ballet competition and stage performances are beautifully woven into the film and you can actually see how he gradually gets better at the dance form.

Overall, I recommend this film to everyone with an interest in ballet, photography, classical music, any dance or just story-telling. It's a fine showcase for all of these. It's a documentary but is more watchable and fun than most dramatized works of fiction.

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