Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company and New York City’s School of American Ballet strut into the streaming spotlight this week with two decidedly different dance experiences: the former with several alumni in a frequently unclothed, gender-bending romantic feature, Aviva; the latter with a family-friendly Disney+ documentary series, On Pointe.
Twenty years after his socially conscious, football-driven drama Remember the Titans hit it big for Disney, director Boaz Yakin delivers a dance-fueled, gender-fluid romance, Aviva. The film, which Yakin also wrote, premiered in “virtual theaters” in June and, as of yesterday, is renting from $3.99 at Google Play, Amazon, Apple TV/iTunes and Vudu.
Zina Zinchenko and Or Schraiber, both formerly with Batsheva, play Aviva – as a woman and man respectively and simultaneously.
Aviva, a young Parisian, develops an online romance with Eden, a New Yorker, played simultaneously by Tyler Phillips as a man and Bobbi Jene Smith as a woman. Smith, also formerly with Batsheva, choreographed the movie.
Aviva and Eden then meet in person and “as the young relationship grows, the lovers struggle as their shifting masculine and feminine sides battle for primacy—both inside and outside their bodies, as expressed through movement and dialogue.”
The six-episode On Pointe, debuting this Friday, December 18, on Disney+, follows the lives of students aged 8 to 18 as they pursue their dreams to become ballet dancers. While older students from all over the country rigorously train for professional careers, younger students from New York City rehearse for the New York City Ballet’s holiday production of The Nutcracker.
Noted Hollywood veterans Ron Howard and Brian Grazer executive produced the series, which was directed by Larissa Bills.
Disney+ costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 annually. A combo plan, $12.99 a month, consists of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
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