Sundancing in O-town
Quickly becoming a festival favorite, Ogden’s Peery’s Egyptian Theater plays host to a wide variety of Sundance Festival Films. This year the selection included Director Rachel Perkin’s remake of Jimmy Chi’s very successful stage musical Bran Nue Dae. In her introduction to the film Perkins remarked, “recently a critic called my film, “a little cheesy” my film is not a “little cheesy” it is a double cheese whopper!”
In its catalog, Sundance appropriately calls the musical, “a wonderfully exuberant film” and said that it “gives viewers a joyful romp while simultaneously touching on Aboriginal history and politics in a way that leaves us all wanting to be Aborigines.” The film features an incredibly talented cast including, Geoffrey Rush as the stern headmaster and priest of a catholic boarding school and newcomer Rocky McKenzie who plays young Willie a boy on a journey to find his way home to his Aboriginal roots.
After the credits rolled and following a Director’s Q & A the rhythms of tribal drumming again filled the air and led audience members to the adjacent Eccles Conference Center where they stepped back into the year 1969 to a scene complete with peace signs, daisies, trees of the Australia plains… even a VW bus. The food and drinks were fabulous as always at the conference center. (My personal favorites? Mini kiwi tarts, marinated chicken skewers and tubs of iced Coca Cola in those little glass bottles I remember from my childhood, complete with a warning that “Thou Shalt Not Steal.”)
A fusion of tribal drumming, rhythms and traditional rock and roll was created by local artist Deja Mitchell and her many talented friends. Mitchell also provided piles of extra instruments and invited all who wished to join in the creation. And join they did. The circle expanded to include children, students, closet musicians and I even spied world class percussionist, Dr. Don Keipp of Weber State’s music department getting in on the action. Party attendees played and danced to the rhythms late into the night.
The evening, hosted by Dan Musgrave, Executive Director of Downtown Ogden, Inc was designed to welcome the Sundance Film Festival to Ogden, celebrate the art of independent film making and Ogden’s rich connection and commitment to the arts.
Downtown Ogden, Inc and Ogden Arts would like to thank their partners in this event. They include; RAMP, the Sundance Institute, Ogden Eccles Conference Center, Peery’s Egyptian Theater, and Deja Mitchell.
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