Dance on Camera Festival 2009

A project started by Mathew Heggem, established in collaboration in between
Dancing Films Association and also Movement Research. This event is part of
Movement Research’s Studies Project Series and enabled with the aid of DTW, Movement Research, Rebecca Brooks, Barbara Bryan, as well as Sarah Percival.

January 6 as well as 13, 2009, 7pm, Free

January 6th conversation led by Stacy Spence
Style: Narrative/Abstract and also Environments
Excerpts drawn from the following:

Karen Rose, Canada, 2008, 12m
Helenka is an unque as well as powerful dance film that follows the physical as well as emotional journey of 5 females throughout a time of Nazi program. It is a testament to their resilience, toughness, and uniformity.

Black Spring
Benoit Dervaux, France, 2002, 26m
Choreographer: Heddy Maalen; Dance Company: Compagnie Ivoire; Dancers: Simone Goris, Serge Anagondu; Producer: Heure d’Ete; Sponsors: Arte, Sinsa Finn, Derives; Distributor: Ideale Audience InternationalThe simplicity as well as pureness of the filmmaking approach is deceitful, asthe film challenges Western ideas of African bodies in movement. The dancing is interspersed with scenes of contemporary life in Africa which offer to increase recognition of the political as well as social sensitivities fundamental modern African dance.

Mobius Strip
Vincent Pluss, Switzerland, 2001, 26m
A sensual, fluid, hypnotic expedition of a “human sculpture”: the bodies of 5 dancers pass, go across, adhere to, intertwine with each various other. A video of dancing, adaptation of choreographer Gilles Jobin’s “The Moebius Strip” See clip of Mobius Strip.

Night Practice
Susanna Wallin, UK, 2007; 9m
A South East Dance as well as Youth Dance England Co-Production for Channel 4

Stacy Spence is a New York choreographer, dancer, instructor who has worked globally as a member of the Trisha Brown Company. He is a 2008 Movement Research Artist in Residence.

January 13 Discussion led by Karl Cronin and Pavel Zustiak
Themes: Power of Limits, Human/Animal Interaction & influence,
Social connection to setting
Excerpts attracted from the following

Alt I Alt
Tobjorn Skarild, Norway, 2005, 5m
A tantalizing tease with all the thriller of a thriller, shot in an indoor swimming pool with the assistance of the The Norwegian Film Institute.

David Hinton, England, 1994, 15m
Choreographer Wendy Houstoun and also direrctor David Hinton inform a tale of interweaving partnerships with a refined dance executed by playing on an emphasis thrust ahead and back in a jampacked bar.

Maia Sørensen, Denmark, 2008, 6min
Rhyme is a duet in between two females, in between the cam as well as what is caught, in between a physical world and one imagined, like yin as well as yang, both indivisible and apart.

Simon Halbedo, Nazario Branca, Maren Sandmann, Switzerland, 2006; 2:15 m A creative effort to spin the Earth.

Reines d’un Jour
Pascal Magnin, Switzerland, 1996; 28m
Six tumbling bodies on hill inclines of the Alps, caught between Heaven as well as Earth, amongst the cows as well as the citizens. When it was shown in Dance on Camera Festival 1997, this strikingly visual as well as sensuous movie triggered a wave of understanding amongst professional dancers. Marie-Louise Nespolo, Christine Kung choreographed the work and performed with Veronique Ferrero, Roberto Molo, Mikel Aristegui, Antonio Bull

Lacho Drom
Tony Gatlif, France, 1993
Produced by Michèle Ray-Gavras, this film, whose title implies ‘secure journey’, adheres to, one group of Roms after one more, from India – by way of Egypt, Istanbul, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the yearly expedition to Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Camargue – to Spain. We are transported into a community that is bound to its environment, its music as well as dancing. Never ever has a dancing movie seemed so wonderful.


Dance On Camera Festival

Sara Joel and Jody Oberfelder, USA, 2006, 6m
Cinematography: Lesley Avery Gould. A very pregnant woman rolls into the water and into the world of her unborn child. Introduced the directors

Annette von Wangenheim, Germany, 2006, 45m
This production of WDR Cologne features Joséphine Baker, one of the most popular artists of the 20th century. Her legendary banana belt dance created theater history; her song “J’ai deux amours” became her hymn. She was the queen of the Charleston during the Roaring Twenties, Diva of the Folies-Bergère, and the darling of the Casino de Paris. Baker was 19 years old when she arrived in Paris in 1925 with “La Revue Nègre.” Her exotic beauty had allowed audiences to identify with her and in their own African fantasies. This documentary portrays the artist in the mirror of European colonial clichés and presents her as an activist of the Black Consciousness movement. Pioneers of black dance, such as Geoffrey Holder, Arthur Mitchell, Carmen de Lavallade introduced the first program. Maurice Hines introduced the January 12th program.

Mila Aung-Thwin, Canada, 2005, 48m
A collaboration of two extremely different cultures created by the Beijing Modern Dance Company and Snell Thouin Project of Canada. This unusual documentary reveals the raw excitement of discovery by young Chinese artists as they absorb the choreographic ways of the West in the first ever China-Canada co-production. Introduced by the Director

(1/3, 8:30pm; repeat on 1/4, 1pm)

Dominique Delouche, France, 2005, 88m
Produced by Les Films du Prieuré, this documentary is a tribute to the lasting legacy of the French-Russian dancer/choreographer Serge Lifar (1905-1988) who carried on the Diaghilev tradition of the Ballets Russes, developed a strong presence for male dancers, and who employed renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine, Leonnide Massine, and Frederick Ashton. In his autobiography, Lifar coyly stated that “dance is my mistress.” Filmmaker Dominique Delouche known for singling out the essential gifts of ballet legends, offers footage of Serge Lifar, Yvette Chauviré, Nina Vyroubova, Jean Babilée, Isabelle Guerin, Monique Loudieres, Manuel Legris, Janine Charrat, Marcia Haydée, and the dancers of Paris National Opera. Introduced by the Director 

(1/4. 3:30pm, repeat 1/12, 8:30pm)

Thierry de Mey, France, 2006, 26m
William Forsythe carved a formidable career in Europe with infrequent returns to NYC. His collaboration with Thierry de Mey, acclaimed for his screen adaptations of works by Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, brings us insights into his ingenious choreography. Thierry de Mey follows a formal strategy to capture “the play of triggers, moments of waiting, visual and sonic cues, and to follow the conducting voices of Forsythe’s choreographic melodic montage and contrasting mounting rhythms that penetrates inside the playing space.”

Charles Atlas, USA, 2006, 52m
A brilliant capture of the multi-media production created in 1999, a collaboration between digital artists Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar and choreographer Merce Cunningham and performed by his company. The animation sequences are largely derived from motion-captured phrases from the choreography, which drive abstracted images of hand-drawn dancers moving through spare and evocative spaces. In performance, the imagery is projected on a huge transparent scrim covering the front of a large proscenium stage, giving the illusion that it floats in front of and among the live dancers behind it. Introduced by Charlie Atlas and Paul Kaiser on 1/12 

(1/4,6pm; repeat 1/6, 8:30pm)

Andrea Servera, Argentina, 2005, 27m
This magical film that captures the essence of a women’s prison in Buenos Aires while demonstrating how the inmates, who may never have had such a gentle experience ever in their lives, are all drawn into the creative process. Choreographer/teacher Andrea Severa worked for two years with these women so that they can leave the prison somehow enriched. Without elaborate choreography, their simple movements became dance and reveal a sense of joy and of being. Composed by Sebastian Schactel, this project was supported by The Secretary of Culture of Buenos Aires City Government, Arts International, and the Fundación Teatro del Sur/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. For more info. on the director

Thierry Knauff, Belgium, 2006, 26m
After his acclaimed film SOLO in 2004, Thierry Knauff has created a new bridge between dance and cinema inspired by the text of Joseph Noiret, co-founder of the famous artists’ group Cobra, and his daughter Michèle Noiret’s choreography. With light and shadow as her partners, Michèle approaches, confronts, and captures the world created by her dance. Introduced by Director

Peter Sparling, USA, 2005, 7:22m
A former member of Martha Graham Dance Company returns in a solo that would only be possible on screen. Mirroring the voices in Arvo Part’s score, he reveals four physical personalities. He transcends boundaries of gender and character while charting a man’s struggle to embody his own metamorphosis. Introduced by director on Saturday

Miles Lowry and David Ferguson, Canada, 2006, 24m
Suddenly Dance Theatre’s narrative is inspired by a three month episode in the life of the French artist Jean Cocteau (1889-1963). Originally written as a visual poem for the stage by Canadian author Miles Lowry, OPIUM imagines Cocteau’s harrowing stay at a clinic near Paris in 1929, where he hoped for a cure for his addiction to opium. Grania Litwin of the Times-Colonist wrote that OPIUM is “a tight, clever, troubling, moody and intense dance drama that starts out looking like a Masterpiece Theatre, but soon moves into new territory”. Produced in association with Bravo! Canada, a division of CHUM Limited; in collaboration with ARTV. Introduced by the co-directors

(1/4, 8:00; repeat 1/6, 3:30pm)

Patrick Bensard, France, 2006, 56m
Lucinda Childs’ work dates back to the sixties, the period in which New York’s “downtown” circle of artists pushed each other to explore and experiment beyond convention. Now, after decades based in Paris, Lucinda lives in Martha’s Vineyard where she takes time to reflect between choreographic assignments around the world. The documentary includes performances and interviews with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Philip Glass, Anna Kisselgoff, Yvonne Rainer, Susan Sontag, and Robert Wilson. To be broadcast by ARTE in Europe in March, 2007. Photo Images and film excerpts by Patrick Bensard, Renato Berta, Peter Hujar, Robert Lockyer, Hans Namuth, Sol LeWitt, Babette Mangolte, Michael O’Neill, & Thomas Victor. Coproducers: Helena Van Dantzig, LIEURAC PRODUCTIONS To be introduced by the director and dancer

Richard Copans, France, 2005, 26min
Choreographer/performer Raimund Hoghe explores an encounter with a man who is much taller and much younger. While listening to music of melancholy and sadness, we begin to question wheter is it the beginning of a love affiar or a dialogue? Or is it simply movement towards another? How close can they come without ever touching?

Program 6 – WILL TIME TELL?, CAMBODIAN STORIES, SEASONS OF MIGRATION (1/5,1pm; repeat 1/6, 1pm)

Sue Healey, Australia, 2006, 12:30m
Funded by Asia Link, OZCO, this short plays with rhythms and counterrhythms in this meditative, playful piece shot in Japan that gives one a sense of the outsider’s experience.

Eiko and Koma, USA, 2006, 23m
Focusing on the mentorship of Eiko and Koma with the young artists who study and work at the Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, CAMBODIAN STORIES evokes questions of tradition, innovation, and the role of the artist in fostering social change and discoveries of new ways to leap from the canvas to the stage. Eiko & Koma’s collaboration hones in on these young painters’ collective energy and explores the challenges they face pursuing artistic careers in a country with little opportunity. Also seen in the video are two other collaborating artists representing different generations of Cambodia: Cambodian-American composer Sam-Ang Sam, the first Asian recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, and the charismatic co-founder and director if the Reyum Art Institute Daravuth Ly.

John Bishop, USA, 2006, 56.08m
An exploration of the transformation of identity among Cambodian immigrants in Long Beach, California and their exquisite, highly stylized classical dance that is rooted in and reflective upon their current life. Using dancers from the Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, award-winning choreographer, Sophiline Cheam Shapiro incorporates original and traditional music, lyrics, and choreography that creates a true miracle. Introduced by the director & producer

(1/5, 3:30pm; repeat 1/7, 1pm)

Rita Blitt, USA, 2003, 6m
A film that has been shown at over 60 film festivals nationally and has won seven awards, CAUGHT IN PAINT is a film that brings together the painter Rita Blitt, choreographer David Parsons and his Parsons Dance Company, and photographer Lois Greenfield, in a union of paint, dance and photography.

Efim Reznkov, Russia, (I) 1995, 52m, (II) 2006, 52m
Recalling the series 7up, TERPSICHORE’S CAPTIVES I and II presents a fascinating opportunity to examine the balance of ego and art. Created by Efim Reznikov, the director of photography for the Russian film LITTLE VERA, and written by Leonid Gurevich, the first documentary focuses on the tempestuous relationship between the artistic director of Perm Ballet School, Ludmila Pavolvna Sakharova and a teenage ballet student Natasha Balakhnecheva. The Russians have a saying “Hatred is only a step away from love.” It is this complicated love-hate relationship to ballet that is explored in this provocative documentary.

Ten years later, Natasha Balakhnecheva decided to try to break free of ballet and experience modern dance. With the aid of DFA and Alla Kovgan, Efim Reznikov created a folllow-up to TERPSICHORE’S CAPTIVES in which Natasha attempts to absorb the teachings of American modern dance rebel Bill T. Jones. In the first film, Ludmila Pavolvna Sakharova demands that Natasha loose her ego and in the second one, Bill T. Jones insists that she find it, claim it, and use it to express herself through dance. To be introduced by Alla Kovgan(1/7).

(1/5, 6pm; 1/8, 8:30pm)

Sergei Paradjanov, Russia, 1969, 88m
Paradjanov’s poetic masterpiece is a classic example of choreographic cinema. The wealth of imagination, the tableau presentation, and the complexity of thought and rhythm is awe-inspiring. The story depicts the life and spiritual odyssey of the medieval Armenian poet and troubadour Sayat Nova, and his rise from carpet weaver to archbishop and martyr.


Dance On Camera Around the World

January 26
Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn, NY
February 9, 10 Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
March 10-11
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
February 23
March 23
June 9
Readymade Dance Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
March 11, 17, 31 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
March 18-19 Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (American College Dance Festival)
March 15, 16, 21 Radford University, Radford, VA (American College Dance Festival)
March 30 Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain
March 31 Missoula Dance on Camera, Missoula, MT, (ACDF)
April 13 Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison
April 16-17 Washington Center for the Arts, Olympia, WA
April 19
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA
April 20
Florida State University Tallahassee
April 24 Cinema Muranow, Warsaw, Poland
April 25 Muscota New School , New York City
as part of National Dance Week
April 25 Pratt Institute Manhattan, 7pm, Free – NYS ADTA
April 26 – May 1
Dance Camera Istanbul, Turkey
April 26 City Dance Ensemble, Washington, DC
May 12-13 Circle Cinema, Tulsa, OK
May 13 Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY (Dance Film Lab)
May 11-17 Jacob Burns Center, Pleasantville, NY
May 22 Dance/Screen, Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco, CA
May 22 Dance Film Lab, for Young Choreographers Initiative
June 7-12 Moves 07, Manchester, UK
June 7-8, 14-15
Philadelphia Dance Projects, Philadelphia, PA

June 27, July 5

Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
June 19-23 SouthSide Film Institute, Bethlehem, PA
June 30 Danceworks, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
June 30, July 7
Contemporary Dance, Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX
July 19-29
New Horizons Festival/Kinotanca, Poland
July 21 Danceworks, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
July 23
Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
August 4 Danceworks, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
August 29 Miami Int’l Ballet Festival, Miami, Florida
September 13 Juilliard School, Dance Division, New York City
September 7
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
September 14-16
Rochester Dance on Camera Festival , NY
Sept. 8,15,22, 29 Pre-screening for Dance on Camera Festival ’08 at Dance/NYC
September 27 Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
October 4,11
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Sept. 26-Oct. 11 Beijing Dance Academy, South China Normal University, China
October 24-25 Cultural Center Hedwig Dances, Chicago, Il
November (tbd) DeSales University, Center Vallery, PA
November 1-4 10th ROMP! Suddenly Dance Theatre, Victoria, BC, Canada
November 16 Educators Special, an introductory workshop co-sponsored by
New York Federation of Teachers at Dance/NYC
November 2-3 San Diego Tijuana Dance Film Festival
November 16-18 NJ State Film Festival of Cape May, New Jersey
December 12 Educators Special, an introductory workshop co-sponsored by
New York Federation of Teachers at 52 Broadway, New York
December 28-30 Flint Center for the Arts, Flint, MI
Dance on Camera Ezine

House on Hold

Dancer Josh Hilberman was working at a tap festival in Greece on September 5, 2007, when he got word from a friend that a water pipe connector had let go in his house just outside Boston, causing a major flood. He and his wife rushed back to the States, to find all their furniture on the lawn and the inside of the house soaked to the studs and floorboards. Their life was in limbo.

Everything got moved into Hilberman’s studio in a separate building next to the house, and the couple moved to a temporary apartment in Chinatown. With the house stripped bare and the reconstruction ready to start, Hilberman negotiated with the insurance company and fretted. The trouble was, he was booked for a one-man tap show at Arlington’s Regent Theater on the first of March. He couldn’t use his studio because it was full of furniture, and he couldn’t concentrate anyway, because of the hulking job to be done next door.

Hilberman is a sturdy, upbeat guy, a problem-solver with a loopy imagination. Since he couldn’t work on his dance he decided to make a film, using his derelict house as the set. He took a slightly damp video camera and his tap shoes into the house and started filming himself.

What resulted, the four and a half-minute FloodHouseDance, is neither a tap dance film nor a film with a tap story. Instead, with the ruined house and all its meanings resonating around him, Hilberman’s dancing becomes a voice—a witness, a commentator, and in the end a kind of exorcist to a calamitous event.

First off, the fixed camera stares at a blank wall with a light socket in it, and a patch of floor. You hear some attention-getting raps coming from nowhere. Then you realize that at the side of the frame there’s an empty bookcase, and on top of the bookcase is a pair of feet, shouting into the empty room.

Then, in a series of short takes, we tour the skeletal house. You hear syncopations echoing two rooms away. From behind a partition a leg reaches out, tentatively tests the floor. Big red, yellow and blue tap shoes take over the screen, dancing insistently, shaking the baseboards. Behind some studs and electrical cables, a shadowy figure whistles and scours the gritty floor with a sand dance, stomps down a hall and up some stairs. A ghostly form is glimpsed running through spaces, leaping through doorways. He’s stamping in circles two rooms away, the sunlight washing in behind him. He seems to be getting angry. His blurry figure throws pieces of lumber onto the floor.

Then the tapping gets quieter and we’re looking at the culprit, a toilet on the second floor, covered with a crumpled sheet of plastic. There’s a commotion behind the blueboard construction panels, and then one panel comes loose and slams to the floor. The dancer, who’s pushed it over, stops his tapping and walks slowly toward the camera. Finally we see Hilberman’s face, coming closer and closer, peering into the lens, until the screen goes black.

We’re left to ponder about empty houses, spaces filled with light and the sounds of frustration, disasters we live through.

FLOODHOUSEDANCE was shot in two days and edited in Hilberman’s new Apple computer in time to make its debut at the Regent. Hilberman is back in his house now and the mess is almost gone, except for some mold under the kitchen cabinets that may never get excised.