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Swan Song

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In a 50 year career as dancer and artistic director with the National Ballet of Canada, legendary dance icon Karen Kain tackle Swan Lake for her first directing role and farewell project. For Kain, the making of this ballet is a labor of love, as it launched her career to superstardom when she made her acclaimed debut in the feature role of Odette/Odile in 1971. Swan Song captures the creative process, the determination and vision in re-staging this classical ballet, which was complicated by a two year pandemic-related delay. Featuring ballet stars past, present and future, the documentary provides an intimate glimpse into the grueling physical and emotional sacrifice required to create this sumptuous, lush re-imagining. Directed by Chelsea McMullan (My Prairie Home, Crystal Pite: Angels’ Atlas, winner of VIFF’s 2022 Showcase Audience Award), Swan Song is an immersive, thrilling glimpse behind the curtain.

 

October 1: Q&A with director Chelsea McMullan

 

Media Partner

Community Partner

Director
Cast

Karen Kain

Credits
Country of Origin

Canada

Year

2023

Series

Special Presentations

Language

English

Film Contact
Content Warning

Self Harm, Coarse Language

PG
99 min
Art, Music & Photography Documentary Women Directors

Book Tickets

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Credits

Executive Producer

Sean O’Neill, Chelsea McMullan, Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Anna Godas, Oli Harbottle, Neve Campbell

Producer

Sean O’Neill

Screenwriter

Chelsea McMullan & Sean O’Neill

Cinematography

Tess Girard, Shady Hanna

Editor

Brendan Mills

Original Music

Katie Stelmanis

Director

Chelsea McMullan headshot

Photo by Luis Mora

Chelsea McMullan

Chelsea McMullan is a director, writer and producer. Their work in documentary, experimental narrative, and hybrid films has often centered on leading international artists in different practices. Ever Deadly (2022), directed in collaboration with the Inuk artist, writer and musician Tanya Tagaq screened at VIFF last year. Their previous features include My Prairie Home, a musical documentary about the transgender musician Rae Spoon and the feature documentary Crystal Pite: Angels’ Atlas about the world-renowned choreographer. Both screened at VIFF and many other festivals.

Filmography: My Prairie Home (2013); Crystal Pite: Angels’ Atlas (2022); Ever Deadly (2022)

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