I Went To The Dance/J’ai Été Au Bal

The definitive film, by Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz, on the history of the toe-tapping, foot-stomping music of French Southwest Louisiana. The film includes many Cajun and Zydeco greats, featuring Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil, Clifton Chenier, Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard, and many others. The film was remastered by Harrod Blank and Anthony Matt, ( to 5K) in 2021 and premiered at SXSW.

  • Les Blank
    Burden of Dreams, Chulas Fronteras
  • Chris Strachwitz
    Chulas Fronteras
  • Marc & Ann Savoy
    Key Cast
  • Michael Doucet
    Key Cast
  • D.L. Menard
    Key Cast
  • Clifton Chenier
    Key Cast
  • Harrod Blank
    5K Digital Master
    A Poem Is A Naked Person, Chulas Fronteras
  • Anthony Matt
    5K Digital Master
    A Poem Is A Naked Person, Chulas Fronteras
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 24 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 11, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    16 MM
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SXSW
    Austin TX
    March 13, 2021
Distribution Information
  • Les Blank Films
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Les Blank, Chris Strachwitz

Les Blank
Director, Chulas Fronteras/ Co-Filmmaker, Del Mero Corazón.
Les Blank (1935-2013) was an internationally renowned, independent lmmaker, whose poetic work offers intimate, idiosyncratic glimpses into the lives, culture and music of the passionate people at the periphery of American society.
His lm topics have included Cajun, Mexican, Polish, Hawaiian, and Serbian- American music and food traditions, Afro-Cuban drummers, Texas blues men, Appalachian ddlers, “ ower children”, gap-toothed women, and the garlic plant.
Blank is perhaps best known for his feature-length Burden of Dreams (1982), with co- lmmaker Maureen Gosling, documenting the chaotic production of fellow director, and friend, Werner Herzog’s 1982 lm Fitzcarraldo in the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon. Honored with a Criterion DVD edition, and a British Academy Award, Roger Ebert called Burden of Dreams, “...one of the most remarkable documentaries ever made about the making of a movie.”
Another of Blank’s best-loved works is Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980), a seminal food lm featuring culinary pioneer Alice Waters, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival. This lm, notorious for its mouth-wateringness, was initially shown in “Aromaround” with garlic simultaneously roasted in-theater.

Chris Strachwitz
Producer, Chulas Fronteras /Co- lmmaker/Producer, Del Mero Corazón
Chris Strachwitz came to the United States as a refugee from Germany after World War II. Writes folklorist Dr. James Grif th: “Growing up in California, he was fascinated by the rich mix of traditional music that he was able to hear on the radio: old-time country music from the valley and from the border stations, blues, [gospel, jazz,] and Mexican music of various kinds. [In 1960], he met Mance Lipscomb, the great Texas songster and guitar picker, and produced an LP record of him. This was the beginning of Arhoolie Records. . . . Over the years, Chris has sought out and recorded a truly huge number of traditional musicians and singers, mostly from the United States, and issued their work
on his Arhoolie label. Some, like Clifton Chenier, Lydia Mendoza, and Marc Savoy, were widely known within their own cultural communities. He brought these artists to a wider audience and helped their careers move a step further. Strachwitz has also amassed the largest collection of Texas-Mexican border recordings (78s & 45s), in his Frontera Collection - housed at the UCLA Chicano Studies Department and now digitally available on YouTube.

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