A Poignant New Documentary Finds Drama in the Competitive World of Ballroom Dancing: A tense showdown between former partners at the Blackpool Dance Festival is the focus of this clip from the upcoming Ballroom Dancer. Ukraine-native Vyacheslav ‘Slavik’ Kryklyvyy, a ballroom professional specializing in the Latin American style who appeared as Jennifer Lopez’s on-floor partner in 2004’s Shall We Dance?, is the temperamental and determined protagonist of the film by Danish directors Christian Holten Bonke and Andreas Koefoed. The duo’s intense portrait has screened at the Copenhagen documentary festival CPH:DOX and the Tribeca Film Festival, where they won Best New Documentary Filmmakers. The story charts the new partnership—both in and out of the spotlight—of former world champion Kryklyvyy and Anna Melnikova as Kryklyvyy attempts to regain his top place on the international circuit while going head to head with his previous partner and current Open British Champion Joanna Leunis. “We were interested in these big couples who are privately and professionally entangled,” explains Bonke. “We thought it would be a film about relationships and love and how you deal with being professional at the same time.” Originally the directors intended to film three pairs but they quickly decided to focus on Kryklyvyy: “He had so much at stake and as a character; he reeks of drama.”
Ballroom Dancer makes its theatrical debut on January 15 in London. This clip comes to NOWNESS courtesy of Dogwoof distribution.