The Dancing One

“The Dancing One: Fanchon Shur”

A moving life documented

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, my mother Fanchon is an amazing woman. She is a woman who has lived an astonishing and dramatic life. As a filmmaker, her story intrigues me. The dance art she has created her whole life is very autobiographical, courageous, and well-documented.

I have been filming my family for the last 15 years. On the day of her 75th birthday, I had a great idea. I asked her, “Mom, can you tell me the entire story of your life in one sitting?” She did and I filmed it.




Usually, as a documentary filmmaker, you spend a long time getting all the materials together for your story. At this point, I already have the spine of a documentary: an artist telling the story of her life, and photos and footage from her life, including 55 years of dance.

The Dancing One is a beautiful, touching story of immigrants, artists, madness, music, suicide, true love, and family.  It is the story of one woman’s struggles and victories, told on her birthday to her son and illustrated by a lifetime of dance. Though it focuses on one woman’s journey, it raises many deep questions about what it means to be alive and to heal.  It questions when we stop being human, and what it takes to re-start a life that has faded away.  It asks questions about motherhood, family, and dance. This story is an amazing, revealing glimpse into an artistic life.

Michael Rossato-Bennett




Please check our website for an upcoming schedule of The Dancing One premiering at selected venues.



Project support provided by a grant from ArtsWave.





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