Director Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky is currently finishing a documentary on mime and dance legend Lindsay Kemp, which is due for release this summer. Called Lindsay Kemp’s Last Dance, the film has had exclusive access to Kemp’s personal archive and offers unique and highly personal insight into the life and art of the reclusive genius.
Lindsay Kemp, who claims he began life in his mother’s lipstick and shoes, was born in South Shields, England in 1938, and has been a major figure in dance, mime and theatre for over forty years, during which time he starred, choreographed and produced some of the greatest dance productions ever seen. He famously taught David Bowie mime, and collaborated with Kate Bush. As actor he has appeared in Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane and Jubilee; and in Ken Russell’s The Devils and Savage Messiah, he also gave a memorable performance performance in the original version of The Wicker Man. Now Pinto-Duschinsky has filmed Kemp on a tour in Italy, Japan and the UK.
The world’s most famous mime, believing himself to be Queen Elizabeth I travels to Japan to face his own mortality.
What happens when genius is most active in advanced years?
Does an artist’s greatest work hover achingly close to the restraints of their own body?
A unique and captivating feature-length documentary, Lindsay Kemp’s Last Dance is the powerful story of the world’s greatest theatre performer facing his own mortality at 70. The film grew from a childhood meeting between the director of the film and Lindsay Kemp. This turn of fate brought about a friendship that was to take the director on a three year journey to Japan, Italy and the UK to film Lindsay Kemp’s Last Dance.
In contrast to this work and its core meanings, the director has been given access to Lindsay’s personal archive which contains very rare footage spanning his lifetime from his relationship with David Bowie to his work with Kate Bush. His seminal work Flowers, of which no other copy exists, is contained in this archive.
Deeply comical, provocative and emotional, Lindsay’s world onstage and offstage are one seamless act. With his cast of international performers, some of whom are ex-lovers, the score of Carlos Miranda is enhanced by a script in six different languages. Woven into the film are interviews with artists with whom Lindsay has worked. Lindsay comes across as a perfectionist and a seismic personality.
Previously on DM
With thanks to Steven Severin