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Exploring the Dance of Life and Loss: A Review of Life in Movement

The film is a poignant tribute to choreographer Tanja Liedtke, exploring the intersections of grief, art, and resilience.

Keywords: , Tanja Liedtke, contemporary dance, grief, resilience, world tour, Sydney Dance Company. Three words: Grief, Resilience, Dance


"Life in Movement" is a poignant documentary directed by Sophie Hyde and Bryan Mason, released in 2011. It offers an intimate exploration of the life and legacy of Sydney Dance Company's 29-year-old choreographer, Tanja Liedtke, following her untimely death. In a world where the arts continue to hold significant cultural value, the loss of a creative talent like Liedtke highlights the fragility and temporality of artistic genius.


Eighteen months after Tanja Liedtke's death, her collaborators embark on a world tour of her work. As they traverse the globe, they grapple with their grief and try to understand the reasons behind her sudden demise. This journey serves as a tribute to Liedtke's life and an exploration of her artistic genius.

More Film Analysis



The documentary takes an observational and participatory approach, following key figures in Liedtke's life as they grapple with their loss. The depth of the exploration into Liedtke's life and the quality of research into her work are commendable. The presentation style is raw and evokes empathy, drawing the viewer into the world of contemporary dance.

Historical and Factual Context


Tanja Liedtke was a celebrated choreographer known for her innovative work with the Sydney Dance Company. Her sudden death in 2007 shook the global dance community.

Key themes in the film

  • The fragility of life and the impact of unexpected loss
  • The power of art in expressing grief and facilitating healing
  • The lasting legacy of an artist

Film Comparisons

Unlike many documentaries about artists, "Life in Movement" is not merely a celebration of Liedtke's work; it is a profound exploration of grief and loss.

Noteworthy Moments

One significant moment is the emotional first performance following Liedtke's death, encapsulating the pain and resilience of her collaborators.


The film holds a 7.4 IMDB score and has received 3 wins and 3 nominations in various film festivals, reflecting the critical acclaim it has garnered.


"Life in Movement" is a profound exploration of grief and the healing power of art. It is a must-watch for those interested in contemporary dance and the human capacity for resilience.

More film information:


  • IMDB Score: 7.4
  • Festival Awards: 3 wins & 3 nominations



  • Tanja Liedtke: The celebrated choreographer whose life and work are explored in the documentary.



  • Sydney: The home base of the Sydney Dance Company where Liedtke worked.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. How does the arts community cope with the sudden loss of a talented member?
  2. How does art aid in the process of healing and grief?
  3. What impact did Tanja Liedtke have on contemporary dance?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion, for its exploration of grief and loss.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Dance me to the End of Love" by Leonard Cohen, for its themes of love, loss and the healing power of dance.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Picasso's "Blue Period," for its raw expression of sorrow and resilience.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Natalie Portman, for her commitment to art and dance, as displayed in "Black Swan."
  5. A colour, it would be blue, for its association with melancholy and depth.
  6. A music style, it would be Contemporary Classical, for its ability to express a wide range of complex emotions.