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Alone Together
DANCE FILM | INTERVIEWS | Di Penelope Ford

Alone Together

Aterballetto, contemporary dance company based in Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, was among the first to release a dance film in response to the pandemic. The region was particularly hard hit by Covid-19, and 1 Meter Closer, which aired in April, tells the emotional story of this dark period, and reflects on the changing nature of body language and gesture in times of crisis. At 20 minutes in length, 1 Meter Closer is paced like a short dance work, and is a significant piece in itself, not only for quarantine times.

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Emotional Landscapes
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Lorna Irvine

Emotional Landscapes

For any dance aficionado, Sadler's Wells is a legendary location. From the first theatre built in the seventeenth century, to the present day, with the sixth theatre standing in the prestigious Clerkenwell area of London, countless numbers of dancers, actors, choreographers and directors have cut their teeth here. The series of short online films presented by Sadler's Wells and currently available on YouTube are as eclectic as anything from the venue's centuries of inspiration. They all show the diversity of performances as well as the progression of dance, in terms of both choreography and developmental film techniques on screen. Watching these...

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Take Two
DANCE FILM | INTERVIEWS | Di Penelope Ford

Take Two

2 in a Million (Director’s Cut) is J.A. Moreno’s personal take on the official music video he directed for Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki, multi-award winning musician Sting, and platinum-selling trio SHAED.

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Close to the Sun
DANCE FILM | INTERVIEWS | Di Penelope Ford

Close to the Sun

Jake Mangakahia, soloist with the Australian Ballet, embodies the one who dared fly too near the sun in the award-winning dance film, Icarus. Inspired by the Greek myth, Icarus is the first film project from Australian multi-media arts group Lumyth. The film, which was released online on May 30, has been officially selected for the 2020 Phoenix Dance Film Festival. I spoke with Lumyth co-founders, Candice MacAllister and Sage Fuller, about the creation of Icarus.

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Bright Young Things
DANCE FILM | Di Penelope Ford

Bright Young Things

“Art is the only way to travel without leaving home.” Twyla Tharp’s quote rings truer than ever, as we negotiate our various states of isolation. For dancers, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant training at home, taking part in online classes, and interacting with dance fans via social media. For the foreseeable future, the performing arts are confined to the digital realm.

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The Ferryman
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Lorna Irvine

The Ferryman

Belgian-French choreographer, dancer and performer Damien Jalet's extraordinary works seem to be not quite of this Earth: they are comprised of a not altogether human landscape, a liminal space of knotted limbs. His complex choreography creates a fleshy mass that means his dancers are more akin to animals. He others the corporeal, wherein it often becomes hard to differentiate between plant and mammal. Bodies entwine and hands grasp like pincers or gnarled tree branches. At times, the spectator is reminded of paintings, either from Goya who referenced the horrors of civil war, or Francis Bacon's Screaming Popes. This is uncomfortable, visceral...

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The Statement
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Di Róisín O'Brien

Making a Statement

What is the friction between words and movement? What does one give us that the other doesn’t? If there is an intelligence in movement and physicality that cannot be expressed through words, do we look down on that intelligence?

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Glance from the Edge
DANCE FILM | Di Kosta Karakashyan

Glance from the Edge

Many choreographers today are looking for ways to engage the audience beyond the stage. Site-specific work and film are just some of the ways dance artists are keeping their work both fresh and lasting. Glance from the Edge is an international collaboration between Bulgarian co-directors and choreographers Kosta Karakashyan and Stephanie Handjiiska, American director of photography Kevin Chiu and composer Jude Icarus. After wrapping the principal photography, the team sat down to debrief together about the inspiration, process and goals for the project.  

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Movement in Structure
DANCE FILM | Di Penelope Ford

Movement in Structure

John Lam, principal dancer of Boston Ballet, and director Shaun Clarke collaborated on the dance film, Movement in Structure, which premiered in Boston in March 2019. Set to music by Lucas Vidal, and filmed at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, Movement in Structure calls attention to our physical relationship with space. In the interview below, John Lam discusses his artistic and personal motivations for creating dance on film.

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Xin Ying
DANCE FILM | Di Penelope Ford

Dancing to the Street

Xin Ying, principal dancer of Martha Graham Dance Company, has been making improvised dances wherever her work takes her. The simply framed videos quickly became a highlight of Instagram. Often set in tourist hubs, busy streets and danced to ambient sound, her swift, modern movement strikes a contrast with the pedestrian setting. Originally from China, Ying moved to New York almost a decade ago to pursue her dream of becoming a modern dancer.

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Edifice Dance Theatre
DANCE FILM | Di Kosta Karakashyan

A Twisted Tale

Edifice Dance Theatre’s new dance film Salomé uses a hybrid ballroom and contact improvisation vocabulary to explore a wide range of human emotions. The company, in collaboration with director Rogério Silva, take Oscar Wilde’s version of the mythical Salomé, the young seductress who requests and is granted Jokanaan’s head on a silver platter, and offer a haunting dance film adaptation featuring sinuous partnering and Silva’s trademark camera work.

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Skeleton Song
DANCE FILM | Di Penelope Ford

Skeleton Song

“Skeleton Song,” by UK-based singer and composer Ana Silvera, is the second song from her BASCA-nominated song-cycle Oracles, released by Gearbox records. Written following an intense period of grief, Oracles was Silvera’s way to transmute her emotions into a cathartic work of art: “I wrote Oracles in a state of absolute urgency and emergency—it felt like I had been buried in the ground myself, and writing this music was a small pocket of air, my chance to breathe again,” Silvera notes. The dance film/video clip was a unique collaboration between Kate Church (dancer, director, choreography) and  Alice Williamson (co-direction, costume and choreography), shot by DOP...

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