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Lovely Young People

Rosalind Nashashibi

UK, 2012
13 minutes, 30 seconds, Colour, Stereo, 16:9
Original format: Film transferred to video
Available formats: BluRay / HD Digital file

Nashashibi chose to portray Scottish Ballet dancers indirectly, reflected through mirrors and through the eyes of local people from Glasgow’s Southside. They are invited to walk in during rehearsals, penetrating the closed world of the Company. Concentrating on the gaze and thoughts of the non-dancers, and the bodies and breath of the dancers, she draws attention to our own projections, dreams and longing around the mythologized idea of the dancer. Exaggerated looking, the back and forth of the flow of power through looking, watching how private individuals and public officers look and what their gaze looks like, are at the heart of this film. Sound is used to draw us into the different perspectives within the film – whether that of the dancers or the visitors, ‘the insiders or the intruders’ – while Nashashibi’s camera allows us close-up, lingering views of individuals more normally seen at a remove. The comments on the youth and grace of the dancer’s, like those used for the title, or comments on their seemingly superhuman strength and endurance, are instances of a chorus-effect, a revealing of efforts of interpretation as well of efforts of looking. The chorus effect, via the ‘gods’, features first in Nashashibi’s previous film Carlo’s Vision. Commissioned by Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and Scottish Ballet