Summer Travels and Videodance

I’m about to start a twelve day cross-country road trip, driving from West to East with one of my best friends who’s moving back to Vermont. We’ll be stopping at a bunch of national parks along the way including Crater Lake (OR), Glacier (MT), Yellowstone & the Grand Tetons (WY), and the Blackhills & the Badlands (SD). It’s gonna be great, but I won’t be able to post to Move the Frame for a while. There are lots of videodance activities happening around the world this summer, so I thought I’d leave you with a few things to keep you busy while I’m MIA.

As soon as I get back to New York, I will be leaving again, this time to go to the Screendance conference at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC from July 10-13th, where I will be delivering a paper on curating. Below is the abstract for my presentation, which is titled after a post I wrote here a few months ago.

Thoughts on Curating – How to Bring About a Shift in Perception

Screendance, while growing as a genre worldwide, is still basically unknown in American culture at large. Even within the field of dance, most choreographers and dancers in the United States believe they are unable to name a single work of screendance. The problem is that so much dance for screen is perceived to be part of another genre, be it music videos, advertisements, or experimental films. Screendance as a genre is a foreign concept to the typical viewer, but only a slight shift of perception is necessary to render it familiar and identifiable. To help bring about this shift in perception in my own dance community, I have started a monthly screening series in which I invite guest artists to curate evenings of films and videos that have inspired their work with dance. In compiling their programs, my guest curators discover the knowledge they already have about media and dance and are able to share their insights in ways that other dancers can easily relate to. This simple curated series has raised awareness for the genre in my community and is laying a seed bed for future creativity and experimentation in the form. Like the Judson Dance Theater, Jonas Mekas’ New American Cinema Group, and more recently Richard Linklater’s Austin Film Society, forming an artist-driven curating collective for screendance has the ability to galvanize a community, inspire new work, and further the boundaries of the art form.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will recognize my thought processes on curating as I’ve written extensively about them in my posts about the Kinetic Cinema screening series for the past six months. I’m excited to listen and talk to the other presenters at the conference this year about this very important topic for videodance.

The other presentations at the conference will be:
“Screendance: Curating the Practice” (Opening Talk by Douglas Rosenberg)
 “Does Screendance Need to Look Like Dance?” by Claudia Kappenberg, Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK.
 “Tutus and Bonfires” by Gitta Wigro, a freelance programmer from the UK.
 “Beyond the Lens III” Sini Haapalinna, a freelance artist from Finland.

Also Meredith Monk will be honored for her work in film and give an intimate discussion with the Screendance participants. There will also be two curated programs during the conference in addition to the Dancing for the Camera Festival taking place at the same time, which is open to the public..

If you can’t get down to North Carolina this summer, then those of you in Europe should head to the Cinedans Festival taking place July 3-10th in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

From the Cinedans website:

This
sixth edition of the Cinedans has an exclusive collection of national
and international dance films in store for you. Films from a new
generation of dance film makers will be screened from over fifteen
countries. Six documentaries allow you a glance into the dance kitchen
of locally operating dancers or internationally renowned choreographers
and William Forsythe and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker compiled a varied
selection of their favorite dance films. In addition, Forsythe presents
filminstallations, exciting crossovers of performance, film, dance and
installation.

Janine Dijkmeijer, the director of Cinedans and Annelyke van den elshout, the program manager, were both at the first Kinetic Cinema screening in January as part of the Dance On Camera Festival. I was happy to see that they have started their own artist curating initiative this summer with their Carte Blanche program, in which they asked choreographers William Forsythe and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker to put together an evening of films and videos that have been influential on them personally and artistically. These kinds of artist-driven curating programs are so easy to do, and they give such wonderful results in terms of generating interest, dialog and connections for artists and viewers alike. I’m glad the idea is spreading, and I wish I could be there to see these programs! If anyone reading this is able to go, please send me your report and impressions!

Finally, I’m happy to report that I will be finishing production on a new videodance this summer called Fünf ‘n’ Twist. There will be many more postings about the creative process of making this work in the near future. In the meantime, you can watch a study of the ending of this piece that we made last spring here in HD on Vimeo!

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