In reading the synopsis for this, I immediately thought of William Greaves' 1968 momentous Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, and its layers of metatextual storytelling, inherent in the concept of the story: that of a documentary, inside a documentary, inside a documentary.
But in this case, with Tango Macbeth (an official selection of the 2012 Roxbury International Film Festival and the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival), it's a play, inside a documentary, inside a film!
Produced and directed by Nadine Patterson (along with her mother Marlene Patterson) Tango Macbeth's synopsis reads:
A theater company rehearses Macbeth. A documentary film crew follows them during the rehearsal process. Occasionally the actors become lost in Shakespeare’s world. This blend of intense drama, dance and humor is a refreshing take on Shakespeare’s classic text.
The story of Macbeth is one that I'm sure many of you are already familiar with (or can look up quickly and catch up), so I won't bother with a breakdown. But what's the connection with the other word in the title of the film - "Tango"?
In the filmmaker's words:
The idea of a tango dance, with multiple partners, each coupling has it’s own intensity and power dynamics. The word tango comes from the Congo in central Africa and means drum circle. A place where people in the community are invited to dance and share. We use the word tango in this literal sense. The film audience is invited into a space to experience and share. The music is very percussive, keeping in line with the traditional African drum music used in tango circles.
Tango Macbeth was shot over 11 days in July, with a multi-ethnic cast and crew, in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
It stars Alexandra Bailey, Brian Anthony Wilson, Justin Bryant, Veronica Wathome, and James Tolbert.
Original music was created by Lenny Seidman.
Choreography is by Zane Booker.
Check out the trailer below: