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Project X
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Lorna Irvine

The Future is Unwritten

Based in Glasgow, and recently celebrating three years since they formed, Project X have a strong aesthetic and highly prolific output with a focus on history, culture and the lived experience of the African and Caribbean Diaspora. These two brand new short films from the multi-disciplinary company, screening as part of Black History Month, take on a female perspective. Both films rejoice in sisterhood and a strong sense of selfhood, both are beautiful celebrations of black women, and feel powerful and moving in distinct ways.

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Flower of the Season
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Victoria Looseleaf

Flower of the Season

Now, it seems, more than ever, do we need art. And while Covid continues its assault on a huge swath of our population, relief came to this reviewer in the form of a live-streamed concert by butoh master Oguri. Bringing laser-like intensity to each and every performance while simultaneously creating portraits of staggering resilience, this supreme mover continues to surprise, stun and satisfy with his dances, whether solo or in conjunction with others.

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New Ghost
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Gracia Haby

New [digital] Ghosts

What was live, I can pause, and it occurs to me that not being able to conveniently pause a live performance was one of the things I most enjoyed about it. It was live. It is live. It was/is roaring along, independent of my will. And in having no control over any part of its trajectory, I disappeared completely, in the best possible sense. I wasn’t me in the theatre or hall, but a series of notes, a flurry of limbs, a lightness, an extension, particles illuminated by stage lighting; anything. In this freedom, a different kind of pause. A...

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Pennefather films
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Oksana Khadarina

Summer Shorts

In the beginning of August, Marquee TV—a performing arts streaming platform—unveiled its inaugural “Summer Short Film Festival,” a curated selection of 28 short films of dance and music from around the world. The festival is a result of the partnership of Marquee TV with the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and Scotland’s Screen.dance festival. All the entries of “Summer Shorts” are offered for free viewing until the end of the month.

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Festival Lights
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Róisín O'Brien

Festival Lights

Edinburgh is quiet. In August, the city normally swells with people jostling to get into theatres, pubs, shipping crates, beer gardens, and tents. The festivals are a key part of Edinburgh’s identity, and while there are often murmurs within the industry that a break from, or a scale back of the festivals wouldn’t do the city any harm, nobody wanted a break this way.

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Bright Lights and Bach
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Gracia Haby

Bright Lights and Bach

It begins in a place I know well. In the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria. Benedicte Bemet, who was promoted to coryphée in 2013, to soloist in 2016, to senior artist in 2018, and to principal artist in 2019 with The Australian Ballet, is seated at the far end of the hall. Beneath the prismatic revelation of Leonard French’s Great Hall ceiling (1963–67), Bemet is alone.

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On the Front Line
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Victoria Looseleaf

On the Front Line

With only a few words—“Lately, it has been considerably harder to rise,” Jacques Heim, founder and artistic director of the risk-intensive, hyper-physical dance troupe, Diavolo|Architecture in Motion, has managed to capture how so many of us are feeling during the unprecedented crisis perpetrated by Covid-19. These words, written by performer France Nguyen-Vincent frame Diavolo’s first foray into film, This Is Me: Letters from the Front Lines, which was commissioned by the Soraya and is available to view for free on that organization’s Facebook page.  

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Open Doors and Detours
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Lorna Irvine

Open Doors and Detours

The finest choreographers have not only a signature style, but walk their own creative paths—think Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, Crystal Pite, Michael Clark, Botis Seva and Sharon Eyal. All are idiosyncratic visionaries with their own stylistic quirks and traits. All have raised eyebrows, and raised the roof with their work, which may not be rooted in the comfort of traditions and familiarity, but rather, leave indelible marks on the viewer. If you can make an audience member squirm, laugh, feel puzzled, or even aroused—sometimes, all at once—job done! The best artists create worlds within worlds. So it is with genius...

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Standby
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Oksana Khadarina

Lightfoot's Love Letter

Nederlands Dans Theater’s brand new work “Standby” is a dance of irresistible energy, galvanizing athleticism and touching poignancy; it’s also an ingenious and masterly realized work of art created in the time of pandemic. Choreographed in just three weeks and captured exclusively on film to be streamed on the company’s website and NDT’s YouTube channel, “Standby” is described by its creator, Paul Lightfoot, as a ballet inspired by the limitations and possibilities of social distancing. “Can we connect without touch?” With this brilliant dance, the choreographer answered this question affirmatively.

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Back to Nature
DANCE FILM | INTERVIEWS | Di Penelope Ford

Back to Nature

Adji Cissoko, acclaimed dancer with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, was on tour in Europe with the company when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. During the lockdown period, she has been characteristically productive. We spoke to Adji recently about managing her time away from the studio, her new creative projects, and her new social enterprise as a Health and Life Coach.

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As Night Draws In
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Lorna Irvine

As Night Draws In

Few choreographers made work which endures and resonates like the mighty Pina Bausch. She wasn't just an iconoclastic presence, she created work that still shocks, gets under the skin and into the marrow, and feels so visceral that it is timeless—whether it was through certain nuanced presentations of violence or societal taboos; staging work in unusual locations or bringing older and younger dancers together as twinned iterations of themselves. She stripped back veneers of genteel bourgeois respectability. She got down and dirty, she provoked, teased at larger truths about the human condition, and kept it real. Work was not always...

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Outside/Inside
DANCE FILM | INTERVIEWS | Di Lorna Irvine

Outside/Inside

Critically acclaimed duo Holly and Duncan Wilder are New York-based Wilder Project. They are siblings who create beautiful, inventive, often playful films which interrogate human connection, ritual, and nature. Their work has been screened at over forty film festivals internationally and include The Weight, Wake, Evergreen, Undertow, Ashes to Ashes, and most recently, We Are So Very Far Away. Lorna Irvine caught up with them as they finished filming a brand new project, to find out more about what makes them tick, and creating art during lockdown.

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