The Dancing Fleece

UK 1951. Dir Frederick Wilson in collaboration with Carl Koch.

Wilson’s Technicolor film The Dancing Fleece,  sponsored by National Wool Textile Export Corporation, is a remarkably experimental advertisement-documentary, this time celebrating Britain’s wool production. The film, costumed again by Norman Hartnell, is a riot of colours as it combines a ballet/modern dance choreography (by Harold Turner of Sadler’s Wells), Lotte Reiniger’s charming animations, a quasi-surrealist mise-en-scène in which mannequins are dressed, and detailed, almost caressing shots of wool yarns and fabrics. All these elements showcase the various processes of wool manufacture and promotion, from shearing, spinning, dying and weaving to a final ‘fashion show’.