Softness is a dangerous affliction for the boys of the National Georgian Ensemble in Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced. To have soft limbs is to be weak, to lose strength in your muscles is to fail. There are 16 different types of traditional Georgian dance, each one honouring ‘the spirit of the nation’ through the Kartuli wedding dance (which shows that “even in love, men must control their feelings”) as much as the Khorumi war dance (evoking “the courage and glory of Georgian soldiers”).
This practice, rooted in military moves and Middle Age holiday celebrations, occupies the mind and body of Merab (dancer Levan Gelbakhiani in his first acting role), a sensitive and headstrong student at the academy. He’s talented, and a touch frustrated by the cultural structures inhibiting his livelihood. But he’s still mostly in control of his ambition, until a rival dancer enters the equation and thaws his cool veneer with a threat that is both technical and sensual.
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