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Mon, Sep 18 at 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm


  • Dirs. Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz
  • USA
  • 1989
  • 84 min.
  • NR
  • 4K DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Doc Spotlight and Music City Mondays

Mon, Sep 18 at 8:00pm: Introduction from Randy Pitts, longtime friend of directors Les Blank, Maureen Gosling and Chris Strachwitz | BUY TICKETS

The seminal film on the history of the foot-stomping, toe-tapping music of French Southwest Louisiana — featuring many Cajun and Zydeco greats, including Michael Doucet, BeauSoleil, Clifton Chenier, Canray Fontenont, Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard, Boozoo Chavis and many more. Newly restored in 5K, I WENT TO THE DANCE (J’AI ÉTÉ AU BAL), celebrates the music of Southwest Louisiana. This Blank and Strachwitz film brims with tender affection for its subjects, the vitality of their marvelous music, and a generosity of spirit.

“I WENT TO THE DANCE… is such an infectious music film on Louisiana French and Zydeco music that it’s hard to stay seated… It is a feast of folkloric scholarship, human history, regional color and irresistible music.”  —Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

“Les Blank’s thoughtful and engrossing explorations of humanity through its many cultural traditions, livelihoods, and struggles are eternally ripe for rediscovery by each new generation.” —Soham Gadre, Film Stage

“Strachwitz’s rich research and Blank’s endearingly personal style keep I WENT TO THE DANCE alive and vital just as Doucet and Rockin’ Doopsie and other Louisiana masters of Cajun and Zydeco do for the music they so love.” —Terry Lawson, Dayton Daily News

“I WENT TO THE DANCE (J’AI ÉTÉ AU BAL) contains the same ingredients as the music itself: humorous comments, memory images and music and music and music again. It is staggering with what strength this Creole musical tradition has withstood all attacks from other American music and survived right into our own time.” —Göteborg Film Festival notes, 1990

See the Official Website