Filmmakers Follow Fiesta Dancers
from Linda Vega’s Studio to Create Polka Dot Alley
Friday, July 30, 2010 by Natalia Cohen
Santa Barbara Independent
An elaborate dress whose layers of ruffles taper to a train, the bata de cola adds much flair to the traditional Spanish dances being taught by instructor Linda Vega. As her young performers flounce across the white-walled room in graceful formation to prepare for their annual Old Spanish Days performances, the colorful gowns trail on the floor behind their elaborate footwork, stirring up the Fiesta spirits of yesteryear — and quite a bit of dust.
As Vega playfully cleans up the floor, doing an impromptu dance with a Swiffer mop, documentary filmmakers Christine Mallet and Randal Kazarian capture every move from inside the mirrored studio. As the girls rhythmically pound their red and powder blue shoes to the beat, the cameras don’t make them nervous—they don’t even seem to realize they exist. It’s been two years since the duo behind Windless Chimes Productions began checking out Vega’s classes for a documentary entitled Polka Dot Alley, and this is the kind of relationship they now share with their subjects, able to camp out in the corners of class without being a distracting foreign presence and catch these natural, mop-dancing moments. Read more