“Everywhere is the stage for the one who wants to dance.” Director Arash Eshagi’s subject doesn’t reveal his name. Adorned in makeup and women’s beaded fabrics, the artist performs a traditional feminine dance alone in the alley behind his rural home. Shielded in darkness, a faint song wafts from his boombox. An 80-year-old cow farmer, the artist has been performing traditional Iranian dance in the guise of a woman almost his entire life. Before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, he could do this in cabarets, but after the revolution the ritual dance became forbidden for women and men alike. Far from a traditional story of trans experience or gender performance, Gracefully meditates on personal expression and creativity in a world where the concept of queerness isn’t discussed. -KM
Preceded by Sweetheart Dancers
USA | 2019 | 14 Min
DIR: Ben-Alex Dupris
A Two-Spirit couple, determined to rewrite the rules of Native American, participate in the “Sweetheart Dance:” a celebratory contest held across the country for men and women couples, until now.