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William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2009 Nashville Film Festival, will make its Memphis debut as part of an Indie Memphis series of dance films screening at the Evergreen Theatre in collaboration with Project: Motion. The film series, which also features Rumba and NY Export: Opus Jazz, will take place from Monday, May 23 through Wednesday, May 25, between weekend performances of Project: Motion's Frame-by Frame, where choreographers will draw inspiration from favorite films to create one-of-a-kind dance performances. A selection of award-winning short films by Mitchell Rose will precede each evening's feature.

Click here for more about the film series.

William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet

Indie Memphis

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (CDT)

Memphis, TN

William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
General Public - Online Discount ($10 at the door)
Doors open one hour before showtime.
Ended $9.00 $1.44
Indie Memphis Member - Online Discount ($8 at the door)
Indie Memphis membership card must by presented to pickup discounted tickets. Limit of 2 discounted tickets per member.
Ended $7.00 $1.34
Frame-by-Frame Ticket Holder - Online Discount ($8 at the door)
Frame-by-Frame ticket stub must be presented to pickup discounted tickets. Limit of 2 discounted tickets per member.
Ended $7.00 $1.34

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Event Details

William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet (51 min.) is a documentary about legendary choreographer Margo Sappington's quest to create a ballet set to the music of William Shatner's critically acclaimed album Has Been (produced and co-written with Ben Folds). The film shows Sappington's finished ballet, called Common People, in its entirety, as well as Shatner himself speaking candidly about his artistic endeavors and life choices. The film also features interviews with Ben Folds, Henry Rollins, Margo Sappington, and members of the Milwaukee Ballet.

"A surprisingly revealing documentary that
suggests the full depths of Shatner's self-awareness
and -- no kidding -- artistic aspirations." 

"When the lights went up, there were cheers.
Shatner comes across as a true original."
~ indieWIRE

"Every dance number they do... shows the heart
and soul of the dancer thrown into every move, every
lift, and every turn. I recommend that everyone who
appreciates creativity in all mediums see this movie."
~ San Diego Film Festival

The feature is preceded by a program of short films by award-winning filmmaker Mitchell Rose:

  • Advance (3 min) - One dance. Two minutes. Fifty locations. Winner of the 2010 Indie Memphis Film Festival jury award for Best Animated or Experimental Film.
  • Modern Daydreams (16 min) - A suite of four Chaplinesque films exploring the theme of movement engendered by day-to-day life. In Treadmill Softly, a man reaches aerobic heart rate at the gym when he falls for a hunkette. In Islands in the Sky, four people weave fifty feet in the air atop four cherry-pickers, aloft and aloof in their ivory towers. In Unleashed, a cubicle-bound Dilbert-ditto gets in touch with his inner puppy. In Deere John, a man and a twenty-two ton John Deere excavator dance a dance of discovery, fulfillment, and eventually, the loss that any diesel-based relationship must suffer. "Inventive and conceptual crossbreeding of comedy and cutting edge dance." - FilmThreat.
  • Elevator World (4 min) - A computer-animated essay on the spatial politics of elevator riding. "A computer masterpiece" - CBS Evening News.
Gonzo Ballet poster Project Motion logo
Have questions about William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet? Contact Indie Memphis

When & Where

Evergreen Theatre
1705 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (CDT)

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Indie Memphis

Through diverse year-round programming, a world-class annual festival, and ongoing efforts to include new voices, new media, and new audiences, Indie Memphis is an ArtsMemphis funded 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which enriches, inspires, and connects the Memphis community while cultivating interest in, and development of, independent film.


The year-round organization is best known for its annual Indie Memphis Film Festival presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., next taking place October 30 - November 2, 2014 in and around midtown Memphis' Overton Square entertainment district. Screening venues include the Playhouse on the Square, The Circuit Playhouse, the new Hattiloo Theatre, and three screens at Malco Theatre’s Studio on the Square – all within just a few blocks of each other, creating an accessible community-friendly atmosphere unlike any other on the festival circuit. Named one of “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in the spring 2014 issue of MovieMaker magazine, the Indie Memphis Film Festival was named a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2012. MovieMaker also ranked the festival as “Worth the Entry Fee” in 2011, 2013 and 2014, and as one of their “25 Coolest Film Festivals” in 2009. With a focus on regional filmmaking, the festival brings a broad range of dynamic and engaging independent features, documentaries and short films to Memphis from all corners of the country.


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