Russian Premiere and the opening film of Documentary Film Festival CENTER, Contemporary Color is a unique collaboration of athletes and musicians, a lively picture of friendly sporting spirit and endlessly bright, colorful expression.
In 2015, legendary musician David Byrne treated audiences to a performance spectacle unlike any other—bringing ten of the best color guard teams from across North America to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to perform their synchronized dance routines (often involving flags, rifles and sabers) to music composed for their performances by musicians including St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Ad-Rock + Money Mark, Nico Muhly + Ira Glass and Byrne himself. Commissioned by BAM and Luminato Festival, Contemporary Color is no mere concert documentary. Seen through the eyes of celebrated American documentary duo, the Ross Brothers (Western, 45365), this tightly choreographed event is cracked open to make space for the performers’ hopes, dreams, homes and personal histories as they’re on the floor giving the biggest show of their lives.
Fully exploring the scope and spectacle of the performances, Contemporary Color also goes freely from dance floor to stage, and from the stands to behind the scenes—even beyond the confines of the venue with dreamy subjective departures, bringing rich, human-scale detail to the experience of the show. As the live music takes this little-known sport to new heights, the wildly talented and passionate superstars of color guard get the limelight they’ve always deserved. In joining together, these artists of different disciplines create something both complementary and new. In this way, above all else, Contemporary Color is a celebration of this unique, once in a lifetime collaboration—a portrait of camaraderie, athleticism, and boundless, colorful expression.
Directors Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross. 107 minutes, USA, 2016
Special screening in Garage Museum as part of Documentary Film Festival CENTER