I Want to Dance is set in the remote Mountains of Guizhou, a province in southern China that only became part of the Chinese empire under the Ming dynasty. Ethnic minorities here managed to preserve their very special cultural identity for centuries. Director Hu Shu, who himself also comes from Guizhou, was mainly active as a documentary maker until now and that is evident in this pearl. In addition, Hu is a very supple storyteller, who charmingly manages to evoke exactly the right natural mood from the actors - all of them more or less playing themselves - that is needed to be convincing.
The protagonist Pian is a Miao girl aged 14 and she wants to take part in a traditional dancing contest. She is eager to show everyone the traditional headband that she has embroidered by hand. But when the village chief says that the jury only likes ‘very skinny girls’, the chubby Pian realises she doesn’t have much time to lose weight. In all kinds of ways - often comic - she manages to achieve her goal. In the meantime, she increasingly skips classes by teacher Yang Guangrong, who is wondering how to convince her to finish school. (GT)

Original title
Kaishuiyaotang, guniangyaozhuang
Filmmaker
Hu Shu
Premiere
World premiere
Country
China
Year
2007
Medium
HDcam
Length
85’
Language
Miao, Mandarin
Producer
He Lu, Zhanglingyan
Production Company
Shengshifengya
Sales
Indie Workshop
Writer
Hu Shu
Cinematography
Du Jie
Editor
Hu Shu
Production Design
Zhao Jinghao
Sound Design
Wangyanwei
Cast
Xian Pian