USA, 1989, 84 min
I WENT TO THE DANCE (J’AI ÉTÉ AU BAL) is the seminal film on the history of the foot-stomping, toe-tapping music of French Southwest Louisiana. The film features many Cajun and Zydeco greats, Michael Doucet, BeauSoleil, Clifton Chenier, Canray Fontenont, Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard, Boozoo Chavis and many more. Newly restored in 5K, I WENT TO THE DANCE (J’AI ÉTÉ AU BAL), celebrates the music of Southwest Louisiana. Blank, Strachwitz & Gosling's film brims with tender affection for its subjects, the vitality of their marvelous music, and a generosity of spirit.
C.J. Hirschfield, EatDrinkFilms
We all are lucky to be invited to this exuberant dance.
Lincoln Spector, Bayflicks
Most of the musicians in this fantastic film are little known.
Cajun and zydeco music documentary returns to SF big screen for first time in decades Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner
Filled with exuberant performances
Louisiana’s Cajun music comes alive in ‘I Went to the Dance’ Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
I Went to the Dance” is a colorful record of its era, filled with music from some of the best to ever do it
Toba Singer, Culture Vulture
Tapping toes make the 84 minutes fly by
Randy Myers, Bay Area Matters
A toe-tapping musical journey
Listening to legends of the Bayou with Les Blank Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills
Making movies as a near-incidental byproduct of hanging out with people whose livelihood is a sonic party
COSMO BJORKENHEIM, Screen Slate
His gaze is never exoticizing, trivializing, or mocking, too earnestly focused as it is on teasing out the lyricism in the endless, inexplicable idiosyncrasies of mortals.
Music, Musicians and a Louisiana Rollick Vincent Canby, The New York Times
An exuberant tribute to the continuing vitality of Louisiana’s Cajun and Zydeco music
Les Blank Charts the History of Cajun Music in Gloriously Restored Documentary Soham Gadre, Film Stage
Les Blank’s thoughtful and engrossing explorations of humanity through its many cultural traditions, livelihoods, and struggles are eternally ripe for rediscovery by each new generation.