Keep the Dance Alive
Rina Sherman learnt about filmmaking with Jean Rouch, who one day told her: “You are
untameable. You are both my most faithful and unfaithful disciple”.
Exiled from South Africa, her country of birth, she settled in France in 1984. She has made some
twenty films, of which six about African rituals. The Cinémathèque de la Danse presented her most
recent work, KEEP THE DANCE ALIVE, in her presence.
Rina Sherman does not limit herself to filming the relics of rituals; in this case, those of the
Ovahimba and other related peoples of Namibia and Angola. At a time in the world when everything
is recorded and photographed, Rina Sherman, by taking the time to live with these peoples (seven
years), by taking close-up shots of these dances, by alternating low-key and dramatic moments,
films that singular moment when memory cedes, setting free strong pictorial images filled with
freshness in which these practices become contemporary, current. And that is why she does not
only film the rituals, but a never-ending dance that flows through the children, the adolescents, the
adults and the sages. This crossing of the ages touches upon a more discreet continuity, that which
makes human beings one of a kind.
Bernard Rémy - Cinémathèque de la Danse [less