Jessica and Clara returned to the Dance on Camera Festival this year. We were on-site on Saturday, February 4th, interviewing interns, filmmakers, dancers and audience members about a range of films including documentary, narrative and choreography. Here’s a quick breakdown of the topics you’ll hear covered in this episode, as well as an extended version with information about each segment after the “Read More” tag:
Minute 0-5:40 – Into Sunlight (feature)
5:40-15:54 – Jonah (short)
15:54-39:53 – Marie’s Attitude (feature) and Broken Memories (short)
39:53-54:14 – VR (Virtual Reality) Projects
54:14-End – Shorts Program (various short films)
We started our day talking to audience members after viewing the World Premiere of Into Sunlight, a collaboration between Filmmaker Ron Honsa, Producer Nan Penman and Choreographer Robin Becker.
This documentary brings together a choreographer, her dancers, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the nonfiction work that inspired her bold experiment. David Maraniss’s book They Marched Into Sunlight is a chronical of the Vietnam era that explores the effects of war on those in battle and those at home. The year is 1867, the same year of student protests on the University of Wisconsin campus. The challenge for choreographer Robin Becker is to combine these events into a full-scale contemporary dance. The film blends rehearsal and performance footage with interviews with key figures from the book and the author himself. The dancers absorb the complex material and make a stunning contribution to the multilayered work.
Catch our full-length interview about the making of this touching film with Ron Honsa, Nan Penman and Robin Becker from 2016 at http://bit.ly/PDDIntoSunlight
We interviewed Film Director Andrew Michael Ellis and Dancer Ernest Felton Baker, of the short film Jonah (USA, 2016), which screened with Into Sunlight. An interview with a former African American slave accompanies a powerful dance vignette of an urban man in extremis. The juxtaposition of past and present raises questions about inherited trauma and the possibility of regeneration.
Jessica interviewed Kersti Grunditz, the filmmaker behind Marie’s Attitude (Sweden, 2016), the documentary about Marie Lindquist, Principal Dancer with the Royal Swedish Ballet, which made its World Premiere at Dance On Camera.
Marie Lindquist has been a principal dancer with the Royal Swedish Ballet for over 20 years, performing lead roles in both classical and modern ballets to great acclaim. The filmmaker closely follows her subject for the last four years of her dancing career, capturing her thoughts and her down-to-earth personality in rehearsal, onstage, on the road, and at a star-studded gala. Choreographers Mats Ek and Marcia Haydee create roles for her, and Lindquist comes across as a dedicated artist and consummate
The film screened with short film, Broken Memory, by Tomoko Mikanagi (Japan, 2016). Miki Orihara, best known as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance company, is seen in a solo she choreographed for herself against a backdrop of skyscrapers at sunset.
We also captured audience feedback on both Marie’s Attitude and Broken Memory after the screening (starting at 24:50)
Jessica interviewed choreographer and filmmaker Lily Baldwin, dancer Joanna Kotze, and producer, Shruti Ganguly after their Meet the Artist Discussion on Emerging Media – Dance in VR. On the heels of the premiere of Sundance Film Festival of her new VR project, Through You, co-created with Saschka Unseld, choreographer and filmmaker Lily Baldwin joined the Dance on Camera Festival for a conversation on dance in VR, providing audiences with a dynamic opportunity to learn more about her process.
Then, we interviewed Dance on Camera Intern, Sabrina Carlin, about VR projects at Dance on Camera.
We chatted with film directors and received extensive audience feedback after the Shorts Program 1, which presented films that were a fusion of choreography, and narrative from the US, the UK, China, Japan, Finland, and Canada. Following is a list of films discussed:
How You Look At It, Wendy Seyb, USA, 2015, A silent dance comedy inspired by the Carl Jung quote, “It all depends on how you look at things, and not how they are themselves.” With a little help from his environment and the theme songs running through his head our hero fulfills his quest to be with his newfound love… or at least, say hello to her.
The Song of GuQin-Rain and Summer, Alex Wu (Zhen Wu), China, 2016, An interactive dance performance featuring a girl growing up confused and a boy who plays ball with an imaginary partner.
What Goes Up… Hollye Bynum, USA, 2015, A time-lapse of two individuals experiencing the journey of a full romantic relationship from finish to start.
Molat & Molat, Kate Duhamel, USA, 2016, This is the story of Pascal Molat dancing, as told by Matisse Molat, age five.
Wake, Katherine Macnaughton, Canada, 2016, A rebuke to technology and the isolation it can create.
Dead Draw, Charli Brissey, USA, 2016, Two dandies flirt over a game of chess.
Boomerang, Martha Gregory, Noah Fowler, Kenny Polyak, USA, 2015, A male duet takes the physical to an emotional high.
Color of Reality, Jon Boogz, USA, 2016, Alexa Meade is a visual storyteller who paints directly on the human body, creating a two-directly on the human body, creating a two-dimensional effect. Here she collaborates with movement artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck to produce an animated narrative that speaks to our country’s frustrations with the violence that haunts American society today.
Move On, Yasuaki Fujinami, Japan, 2016, Natalie and David experience attraction, doubt, and disagreement and make excellent partners in crime.
Cold Storage, Thomas Freundlich, Finland, 2016, On a desolate arctic shore, a lonely ice fisherman discovers his prehistoric counterpart frozen in the sea ice and thaws out his newfound brother. With droll humor, Feundlich pays homage to the slapstick and melancholy of classic movies.
You, Graham Clayton-Chance, UK, 2015, The verbal and physical slapstick of this dance monologue suggests dark truths behind love, sex, and relationships. Taken from the archive of the late Nigel Charnock, this is the first in a series of new films that honor his classic performances.