CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 18. . . . May 9, 2003
The video, Dance of the Warrior, is a cross cultural exploration of movements of warriors around the world. The actions of warriors and soldiers from countries as diverse as Algeria, Ancient Greece, Guinea, China, Japan, Scotland, Canada, Rwanda, Haiti, Bali, India, Tibet, Mohawk, New Zealand, and France are filmed. These marches, dances and exercises serve many different purposes including military survival, instruction, religion, initiation, "capturing" the fury and energy of a wild animal, transformation of enslaved people into warriors, dancing with the devine, medicine for healing wounded hearts and spirits, confrontation with war demons and ensuring the safety of a people. Guiding us through this melange of steps and music is the Algerian artist, Sid Ali who is working on a colorful abstract painting of a nude male and who adds another dimension after each countries" presentation. The commentator ends with the thought that the warrior has the choice to create or destroy and notes that the warrior/soldier is never at war when he dances.
While sometimes the soldiers reflect in French with English subtitles, for the most part, the film is in English, without French subtitles, and a few of the more modern clips include women.
This video is thought-provoking as we explore a human need for protection as witnessed by the warriors and at the same time a desire to make a statement about soldiering. This video is complex, and each viewing reveals another angle to explore. It will appeal to intellectual audiences, possibly found at the college or university level, and short sections are appropriate for other students starting at the upper elementary level. This video is highly recommended as a discussion starter for mature audiences.
Meredith MacKeen is the teacher-librarian at Glen Stewart School in Stratford, PEI.
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