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The Dance Enthusiast Asks Ron Honsa, the Director of "Never Stand Still" about his Movie, His Thoughts on Dancers, and Jacob's Pillow

The Dance Enthusiast Asks Ron Honsa, the Director of "Never Stand Still" about his Movie, His Thoughts on Dancers, and Jacob's Pillow
Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram

By Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram
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Published on May 17, 2012
Christopher Duggan

Ron Honsa Plays 20 Questions with The Dance Enthusiast and our "Mercian" Questionnaire

(The Dance Enthusiast puts questions on paper, places them in our desk drawer, or a hat,  then we close our eyes, and choose 20
allowing chance into the interview procedure in honor of Merce Cunningham and John Cage)

Ron Honsa, as a young filmmaker in New York City, was hired to film Lar Lubovitch's Company at Jacob's Pillow in the early 1980's. Says Honsa, "I was struck by the beauty and intelligence of the work taking place at this secluded dance festival."After meeting Burton Mumaw, one of Jacobs Pillows' earliest pioneers, and former member of Ted Shawn's Company, he made the award winning film, The Men Who Danced- the story of Ted Shawn and the first all-male dance company in America.

"When I learned that the 75th Anniversary of Jacob’s Pillow was approaching, I was eager to return to the Pillow. Producer Nan Penman and I met with Ella Baff, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow and this meeting began the journey of Never Stand Still. Filmed over several seasons, the documentary shows the passion, discipline and sense of whimsy that is demanded of those who choose a life in dance. Perhaps this love for dance can only be experienced in the body of a dancer. And yet, this film is a humble attempt to document what this art form demands."
(the above material is excerpted from Ron Honsa's Directors Statement for Never Stand Still.)

The Dance Enthusiast Asks Ron Honsa, Director of Never Stand Still

Director,Ron Honsa In an Interview with Merce Cunningham, Photo Courtesy of The Director

1. I am a film-maker because...

It is what I know how to do

2. If I weren't a film maker I would be...

A farmer in Maine

3. I am inspired by...

My children

4. I could do without...


5. My favorite part of this project was...

Being around dancers and world renowned choreographers

6. Opening night of my movie is...


 Its NYC release is at the Quad Cinema on Friday, May 18th, 2012

7. The Movie is called Never Stand Still...

Because dance is always evolving.

8.What surprised or delighted you while in the process of creating Never Stand Still?

The generosity of all the dancers and people who supported this film

9. My favorite time at Jacob's Pillow was...

Seeing the film being screened for the first time at the Ted Shawn Theatre where we filmed many of the performances.

10. Do you dance? If so what is your favorite kind of dancing?

I am not a dancer but I was taught to film dance by dancers.

11. Do you prefer to be behind the screen or would you like to be in front of it?

I like to be in control, so behind the camera works for me

12. What Words Best Describe These Artists?

Bill Irwin


Suzanne Farrell   

The Erica Essner Performance Co-Op  as seen in Never Stand Still ;Photo by Christopher Duggan


Rasta Thomas


Bill T. Jones


Merce Cunningham


Mark Morris


13. I am a dance enthusiast because...

 I respect how talented and hard it is to be a dancer

14. Jacobs Pillow is...


15. What did you learn during this project?

The importance of community for artists

16. Why should non-dancers see your film?

 Because it is a unique and accessible window into an art form

17. Why should dancers see your film?

Because it is an homage to them and their art form

18. My favorite thing to do in the world other than make films is... 

Kellye Saunders of the Collage Dance Collective performing Dying Swan as seen in Never Stand Still a
film by Ron Honsa. A First Run Features Release,- Photo by Christopher Duggan

 Dig in my garden

19. After the opening of this movie I am going to...

Continue working on my next project

20. I am enthusiastic about...

Being able to film artists and the performing arts



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