Ken Verdoia's Distant Dance (7 p.m., Ch. 7) succeeds on so many different levels it's amazing.
At its most basic, it's an hourlong documentary about Cedar City's American Folk Ballet troupe traveling to the Soviet Union last summer. But it's much more than that.It's an up-close look at the upheaval in the USSR, seen in three different venues - Moscow, Leningrad and Riga, the capital of the Baltic republic of Latvia. It brings a complex issue of grand proportions much closer to home and much easier to relate to.
(And I was struck more than anything by how much these people look just like us.)
It captures the energy and vitality of the American Folk Ballet. (But it's not just a dance video. It's accessible to all viewers.)
It's the story of American dancers attempting to bring their message to people who live a world away from them. And of the relationships that develop between dancers who can't even speak each others' languages.
And it's a profile and tribute to AFB founder and choreographer Burch Mann, still one of dance's great ladies, now in her 80s.
Verdoia and company have done an outstanding job. "Distant Dance" is well-worth an hour of your time.