Jessica caught Tomer and Barak Heymann (the Producer and Film Director duo of Heymann Brothers Films) after a Q&A at Film Society of Lincoln Center while promoting the release of Mr. Gaga, their acclaimed documentary film about Ohad Naharin. Naharin is is the long-standing Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company and subject of the film which follows his life from childhood until the present. Jessica interviewed Barak and learned more about the filmmaking process, where the idea for the film came about, how Tomer selected archival footage, and how Ohad reacted to seeing the film for the first time.
We talked to a few audience members about highlights from a strong roster of creative short films presented in the Shorts Program I at Dance On Camera Festival. We heard a lot about Indigo Grey and enthusiastic commentary about the rest of the roster as well. It was a great way to end our day at Dance on Camera Festival!
We spoke to Marta Renzi, choreographer and director of Honeymoon, a hot short film with a surprising twist featuring dancers Carlos Gonzalez and Tina Vasquez. She gave us a sneak peek into her inspiration and process behind the film before we saw it on the big screen.
Each year, the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center screens one Work-in-Progress. through the Dance Film Association‘s Production Grant, Alexandra Shilling’s latest video project The Other Side of Stillness | Installation was selected and screened as a special event on February 13. Alex talked to Pod de Deux about the process of making the project and what it was like working with DFA to present her work.
Flamenco is one of the world’s few art forms that is believed to be passed down exclusively through bloodlines. For Barcelona’s Gypsy community, it can’t be learned at a school or on paper. It is lived within the home, created at the bar and perfected on the street corner. Bajari, directed by Eva Vila, goes to all those places with the dancer Karime Amaya, who is working with some of the most talented up-and-coming musicians and dancers to create an innovative show, and little 5-year old Juanito Manzano who takes his first steps toearn his white flamenco boots. We talked to Ron Honsa, board member of Dance Films Association about the film.
Audience members of all ages shared their love for Natalia Makarova after a screening of her self-directed Ballerina Program 1: Body and Soul–the first section of a four part BBC Documentary series. They gushed over her career, partnerships, free spirit, charm, and her lasting influence on ballet.
In this episode with Ron Honsa, Filmmaker and Executive Director of Moving Pictures, we continue coverage of the Dance on Camera Festival (DOCF), leading up to PDD’s “takeover” on Saturday, February 13th! Ron Honsa’s documentary about Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers, The Men Who Danced, will be honored this year at DOCF, 30 years after its initial release. Jessica sat down with Ron and learned more about his historical and contextual approach to documentary filmmaking, as well as the importance of Jacob’s Pillow, Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis, and the Denishawn Dance Company to the development of American modern dance. Ron also revealed how he learned to film dance through a chance encounter with Alwin Nikolais and shared advice for dance filmmakers. The Men Who Danced will screen on Sunday, 2/14 followed by a moderated discussion with Norton Owen and Ron Honsa. The festival runs February 12th – 16th; tickets are still available here!
“Dancing is fun!” Sometimes we all need the reminder, and this episode couldn’t have been a better one. Finally back in Btoven Studio, with dancer, choreographer and marketing professional Jamie Benson, we had some of the most fun yet as we dug deep into topics that ranged from the social purpose of laughter and the paradox of choice to Jamie’s rediscovery of the joy of dancing. We learned how Jamie incorporates humor into his choreography, works with adult non-dancers in his Shakedown Dance Collective and pursues the ultimate Bradjelina Life. He even provided valuable marketing advice for dancemakers! To learn more, visit our guests page and jamiebenson.com.
Brock Labrenz of An Films is a New York-based director who harnesses his extensive background in performance to create deliberate and sensual audio-visual experiences. His creative endeavors find him somewhere between the exactitude of modern cinema and the ephemeral transition of the body through space.
In this episode, Brock shared his experiences training as a dancer at Juilliard and dancing for William Forsythe–in particular, Forsythe’s creative process. We learned what it was like investigating Forsythe’s concept of choreographic objects in Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time and how audiences engaged with this work. Brock also revealed how his interests in dance and film developed over time and how both mediums support his current work.
We had an intriguing discussion about the role of the choreographer in developing audience values and the importance in creating a conversation with the audience around a concept or process. We also discussed how work conditions in the US and Europe have varying effects on the creative process and performance experience.
In our fourth episode of Pod de Deux podcast, we have a friendly chat with William Cannon, a professional contemporary dancer. He talks about his recent transition to freelance work in NYC, emerging trends in contemporary ballet, recent projects with The Metropolitan Opera and Twyla Tharp, and fond experiences working with contemporary choreographers like Christian Spuck, Cayetano Soto, and Nicolo Fonte. We also shared views on dance reviewers, dance on television, and interesting work being presented in NYC.
We speak to Ben Richards in our third episode of Pod de Deux Podcast. Ben is a freelance video artist, dancer and choreographer who lives in New York City and spent three years in Montreal. We initially met Ben at Jacob’s Pillow dance festival, where he has worked on the video team for the last five summers. In addition to freelance video work in NYC–now Ben’s primary focus–he is the videographer and live stream manager for the New York Public Library’s Live from the NYPL initiative.
We sat down with Ben early in the new year to discuss how he got into various dance-related endeavors, life at Jacob’s Pillow, and how the camera can bring life to dance.