Steven Caras: See Them Dance premiered June 3, 2013.
About the Program
Steven Caras: See Them Dance concerns the life and work of a youngster from New Jersey, who overcame impossible odds to dance with the New York City Ballet, and then transformed his career to become one of the leading dance photographers of all time.
Steven Caras' studio portait of Miami Ballet's Iliana Lopez dancing Concerto for La Donna, choreography by Jimmy Gam. Photo courtesy of Steven Caras.
Directed Deborah Novak, this documentary gives viewers an intimate look at the real world of ballet, through one dancer’s personal journey of challenges and triumphs. Steven’s story began at a time when men did not pursue a career in ballet without escaping unscathed. In spite of bullying at school and rejection at home, Caras persevered, receiving full scholarships to the Joffrey School and the School of American Ballet in New York City. At 18, with only three years of training, he was personally invited by the legendary choreographer George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet. Without question, Balanchine would change his life.
During Caras’ 14 years with the company, Balanchine took note of his protégé’s gift as a photographer and granted him privileged access to photograph all aspects of City Ballet’s private world. The results of that decision are seen in this film, which offers rare, behind-the-scenes photographs of ballet superstars such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Suzanne Farrell, Rudolf Nureyev and Natalia Makarova.
Lively interviews with a host of dance icons also help tell the story. They include Peter Martins, Mia Michaels, Jacques d’Amboise, Patricia McBride, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Allegra Kent, Sean Lavery, Kay Mazzo, Elizabeth Streb and Virginia Johnson, among others. Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout, fine art and photography expert Sarah Morthland, and the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center's Executive Director Jacqueline Z. Davis are also among those who appear in the documentary, commenting upon the artistic and historical significance of Caras’ work.
Steven Caras: See Them Dance was directed by Deborah Novak.