The !Xo San of the Kalahari desert are often referred to as "The First People" since they are the earliest inhabitants of Africa, having lived in the same region for 30,000 years. This extraordinary documentary was photographed by Craig Foster and Damon Foster and created in association with the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa. It presents an up-close and personal look at a hunter and two friends who track animals much as their ancestors did thousands of years ago.

Like the good Duke in Shakespeare's As You Like It, these hunters find "tongues in trees." By reading the tracks of animals, they are drawn into an intimate relationship with them. They become one, in a very real sense, with the animal they are pursuing.

These hunters are masters of attention. They display a heightened sensitivity to the environment, a dry region that sometimes has no rain for a year. As the hunter notes: "The insects and the wind keep time for us." These men are able to read signs of the animal and the weather in the sand on the ground. In fact, they delight in creating mini-dramas out of the details they glean from the hunt. The result is stories to share with each other.

The filmmakers have documented "a hunt by running" as it is called. A man with a bow and arrow runs all day after an animal under the burning sun. He must, as the narrator notes, outrun his thirst. This takes great endurance and the ability to stay focused. The hunter believes God has set this animal aside for the tribe. Those back home eagerly await the outcome of the chase. For this tribe what happens in the bush is a matter of life and death, the survival of the community.

The Great Dance: A Hunter's Story presents a moving meditation on the spiritual practices of attention and connections. These indigenous people teach us the art of being totally alert to the report of the senses. They also show us what can be gained by establishing an intimate relationship with the land and the animals that reside there.