Hot Docs 2016: Contemporary Color

David Byrne presents a performance combining colour guard routines and live music in Contemporary Color. Ten high school teams from across North American have been gathered together to perform their color guard dance routines, which utilize timed rifle tosses and flag spins. The routines are accompanied by live performances my various recording artists, including St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, and David Byrne.

Contemporary Color is documenting a performance organized by former Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne, which celebrates the artform of color guard. Typically performed at sporting events, color guard can be seen as a mix cheerleading and military routines. Directed by Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross (Tchoupitoulas, Western), Contemporary Color consists of both the on-stage performances and backstage footage, including interviews with the various team members.

Prior to watching Contemporary Color, I wasn’t familiar with color guard as a dance routine, so the film is successful in increasing awareness of this artform. The film is a little bit inconsistent when it comes to showing the performances, with some being shown in full, while others cut to backstage in the middle of a song. However, altogether Contemporary Color is an entertaining mix of music and color guard routines.

8 / 10 stars