Fünf ‘n’ Twist Screening Party

Sunday October 30th, 4pm

BEAHIVE
291 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

My short dance film, Fünf ‘n’ Twist is complete, and now I’d like to share it with all of you: my friends, cast, and crew who helped me create it. Along with Fünf, the event will feature other shorts by Kerrie Welsh (Fünf DP), and Caroline Koebel.

In Fünf ‘n’ Twist, a boy and girl leave the prom and enter a wilderness of confusion from which they may never return. Featuring original music by J Why, and starring Donna Costello and Matt Sweeney. (TRT 14min)

Refreshments and Halloween treats will be served.

Kids are welcome.
(Nothing in the program is offensive or violent however there are references to the existence of sex.)

$5 suggested donation

BEAHIVE is a 20 min walk or a 5 min drive from the Beacon MetroNorth Train Station. (Directions) (Train schedule)

Hope to see you there!

Raising Friends and Funds for Fünf ‘n’ Twist

Thanks to all who came out last weekend to our fundraising party for our new dance film, Fünf ‘n’ Twist in conjunction with Sasha Welsh for her new intermedia performance piece Trace Decay. We had a good turn out of friends and supporters who raised a cup to our art-making and helped spur us on!

Here are some photos from the party.

Anna thanks guests at fundraising party

Anna thanks guests at fundraising party (Sasha Welsh to the left)

A Toast to Fünf n Twist and Trace Decay!

A Toast to Fünf 'n' Twist and Trace Decay!

J Why, composer of Fünf n Twist

J Why, composer of Fünf 'n' Twist

Cindy and Matt (lead boy character in Fünf n Twist)

Cindy and Matt (lead male character in Fünf 'n' Twist)

I screened two completed sections of Fünf ‘n’ Twist, and had the pleasure of introducing my leading man, Matt Sweeney, who braved bad trains and a bad cold to come down and celebrate. It was his first time seeing the footage on a big screen in front of people, and he still blushes when he watches the “tree-humping” scene. Most people would call it the “deflowering scene”, but for Matt it is memorable as one of the weirdest things he’s ever had to do for a choreographer/director. A typical direction from me (without a trace of irony in my voice): “Ok Matt, go climb that tree and hump the branch when I say action!”

Matt humping tree (or deflowering scene)

Matt humping tree (or deflowering scene) with Donna Costello from Fünf 'n' Twist

I also unveiled a new interactive performance piece at the party, “Purification Ritual for a Shamed Politician.” We used it as part of a raffle in which ticket buyers were able to nominate dirty politicians or other nefarious public figures for spiritual cleansing. We had two separate drawings and each winner was asked Madlib-type questions, which turned into the text for the purification ritual. One of my oldest friends, Carly Gladstone-Strobel, a wonderfully talented actress, played the role of the High Priestess, while I was her dancer/disciple. I introduced the characters with a dance and then Carly recited the verse while scrubbing a plastic object (chosen by the raffle winner) in a glass jar with a toilet bowl scrubby. Here’s a quote of text from the second ritual we did [text in italics was given by the raffle winner]:

“Oh John Stewart, please bless this feisty panda bear, Bill O’Reilly. May he be purified in the smelly waters of Lake Michigan and appear before the people of everywhere on his pinky, ready to atone for his hate-mongering…”

Carly and Anna in Purification Ritual for a Shamed Politician

I hope to continue to do these purification rituals, which seem to still be desparately needed despite the regime change in Washington. If you have a party that could use some ritual elements, let me know! We’re super cheap!

All in all, the party was great fun, but we still have a long way to go with our fundraising goals. There is one more section to shoot for Fünf ‘n’ Twist. A middle scene that is a flash forward of the two main characters holed up in a dingy tenement where a power play ensues between them over the eagle belt buckle. The scene will culminate with both of them crashing through a paper wall. Ambitious? Yes! But with a little luck, and the support of a whole lot of generous folks like you, we’ll be able to pull it off and finish our film this spring!

Please let us count you among our supporters. A $30 contribution underwrites the cost of three hours of tape stock, $50 helps us build a paper room set for the last section of our film, and $100 pays for a kick-ass crew member who knows how to make magic happen with just one light, a gel, and some gaffers tape.

CLICK HERE to make a tax deductible online donation through our not-for-profit fiscal sponsor, Unique Projects*. Designate your donation to Anna Brady Nuse.

OR

Write a check out to UNIQUE PROJECTS* earmarked for Anna Brady Nuse and send to:

Anna Brady Nuse
Straight to the Helicopter
4915 Broadway, #6L
New York, NY 10034

Thank you!

*Unique Projects, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) foundation created and administered by Pentacle to serve the performing arts community. All donations made to Unique Projects and earmarked for Anna Brady Nuse are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information or to obtain a copy of our latest financial reports please contact Salena Watkins, Fiscal Administrator at 212-278-8111 x306, 246 W. 38th Street, 8th Floor New York, NY 10018.

A Guide to the 2009 Dance On Camera Festival

It’s already that time of year again, when the Dance On Camera Festival rolls into Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. Over two weeks (Jan 6-Jan 17th) there will be screenings, panels, workshops, a Round Table, and a Town Meeting. Here are some of the highlights to put on your new 2009 calendar!

SCREENINGS

The DOCF shows a combination of dance for camera features, dance for camera shorts, revivals, and dance documentaries. I have tried to categorize the programs below, however please check their official schedule and program descriptions, as the dance for camera shorts get squeezed into many programs.

Most of the programs take place at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center Plaza. For tickets and info go to: http://www.filmlinc.com/buytickets.htm

Also check out the discounts on tickets available for Dance Films Association Members here.

Dance For Camera Features:

VSPRS Show and Tell

Sophie Fiennes, 2006, Belgium; 72m

I’m not sure if this is a documentary, a dance for camera piece, or archival footage of a performance, but it sounds intriguing. The description on the Dance Film’s Association’s website says it’s a “hybrid marvel—part performance, part documentary– in which dance, drama and music fuse to mesmerizing effect.” The filmmaker, Sophie Fiennes (“A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema”) collaborated with Alain Patel of Les Ballets C de la B, to create a contemporary interpretation of Verdi’s famous religious work “Maria Vespers.”

Friday, Jan 9, Walter Reade Theatre, 8:30pm (repeats on Jan 11, 6:15pm)

Historia

Karsten Liske, 2007, Germany; 2007; 45m

A young woman’s short life is visualized in the dramatic interplay of choreographic and abstract images. Awarded the price for best film work at NapoliDanza Festival 2008.

This program will also include Nora by Alla Kovgan and David Hinton with Zimbabwean choreographer Nora Chipaumire. A gorgeously shot portrait of a woman’s life growing up in revolutionary Zimbabwe.

Saturday, Jan 10, Walter Reade Theatre, 8:45pm (repeats Jan 11., 4:15pm)

Revivals:

Busby Berkeley Celebration – Saturday January 10

Don’t miss an entire day of programs paying homage to the great master of kinetic cinema!

Under the Influence of Busby Berkeley (Gallery, Sat. 1/10,2:30pm)

Dance Film-maker Kriota Willberg surveys a great range of films, music videos, and commercials that have been directly influenced by Berkeley, also notable because it will include an excerpt from Fünf ‘n’ Twist by yours truly! Other contributors in the line up include Richard James Allen, Jess Curtis and Kwame Braun, Michel Gondry, Kat Green, Jennie Livingston, Lucky Strike cigarettes, Anna Brady Nuse, Nuvaring®/Schering Corporation, Jonathon Rosen, Keith Schofield, and Kriota Willberg.

Dames – Ray Enright with Busby Berkeley, USA, 1934; 90m (Walter Reade, Sat. 1/10, 4:00pm)

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Dames! Revel in the pageantry, the  bathtubs, alarm clocks, blondes, and brunettes all dancing in perfectly geometric, kaleidoscopic style.

Gangs all Here – Busby Berkeley, USA, 1943; 103m (Walter Reade, Sat. 1/10, 6:30pm)

Featuring Carmen Miranda in her “Tutti Frutti” hat!

The Blue Bird

Maurice Tourneur, 1918 film, US; 81m

Celebrating dance in classic silent films, The Blue Bird is based on the play of the same title by Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck.

Sunday, Jan 11, Walter Reade Theatre, 2pm

Ishanou (The Chosen One)

Aribam Syam Sharma, India, 1991; 91m

This film was one of the notable hits of the 1990 Cannes Festival.  Based on a story by Manipuri writer MK Binodini Devi, THE CHOSEN is a rich melodrama that contrasts ordinary domestic life with the strange rituals of the Meitei matriarchal cult.

Friday, Jan 16, Walter Reade Theatre, 3pm (repeats Jan 17, 1pm)

Dance For Camera Shorts:

EMPAC DANCE MOViES

Wednesday Jan 7, Walter Reade Theatre 9pm

This is a great collection of shorts commissioned by EMPAC in 2007 through The Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and the Performing Arts. I got to see this program at EMPAC’s grand opening weekend back in October (see my earlier post), and am so happy it is making the tour of other film festivals for all to see. Some of the gems of this program is the hauntingly beautiful Nora, an abstract portrayal of Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire’s life and coming of age during the Chimurenga revolution (repeated on Sun Jan 11th @ 4:15pm), and Propriedad Horizontal a clever choreographic study in a narrow space from Argentina.

Jiri Kylian & Hans Hulscher collaboration

Thursday, Jan 8, Walter Reade Theatre

4pm –  (repeat Jan 17,3:30pm)

Three productions by Jiri Kylian and Nederlans Dance Theater shot for television by Hans Hulscher. They include Wings of Wax, Petit Mort, and Sleepless. Kylian’s own dance film Car Men, was one of the best shorts shown at last year’s festival. The works on this program are  stage pieces adapted for television, and will likely be beautiful for screen.

Magnetic Cinema, Matchbox, Sens 1

Thursday, Jan 8, Walter Reade Theatre 8:45pm

(repeat Jan 16, 1pm)

I’m excited about this program of three dances for the camera that promise to be truly cinematic as well as choreographic. It starts out with Pierre Coulibeuf’s Magnetic Cinema inspired by French Canadian choreographer Benoit Lachambre’s “Lugares Comunes”. The program of Coulibeuf’s films shown last year was sufficiently intriguing and environmentally arresting to make me want to see more. Matchbox by Daniel Belton from New Zealand is an evocative “partnership game” played out on a jazzy dance floor with dazzling physicality. In Sens 1 two dancers—Francesca Bonato and Magalie Bouze from Compagnie des Indes- joined like Siamese twins by their left feet, move around a crackling bubble-wrap carpet that resembles a dimly lit boxing ring.

Innovative Shorts

Friday, Jan 9, Walter Reade Theatre 6:15pm (repeats on Jan 11, 8:30pm)

A marathon program of 11 shorts that cover subjects ranging from birth (Manuelle Labor by Marie Losier in collaboration with Guy Maddin) to Martha Graham (Bardo by Richard Move) to women imitating their dads dancing (Dance Like Your Old Man by Gideon Obarzanek & Edwina Throsby). I live for stuff like this!

Kinetic Cinema with Dance Film Pioneer Educator, Ellen Bromberg

Wednesday Jan. 14, Chez Bushwick at 8:00 pm

Kinetic Cinema will feature a program curated by Ellen Bromberg, a professor of dance at University of Utah and a pioneer educator of dance for the camera. Bromberg will show dance films created by choreographers and filmmakers who have attended her workshops in Victoria, BC and Regina, Saskatchewan over the past five years. These workshops have attracted experienced artists in many genres providing them with the opportunity to explore dance film as a new way of seeing and framing the moving body.

Admission is $10; tickets can be purchased at the door.

Chez Bushwick is located at 304 Boerum St., Buzzer #11 in Brooklyn, NY 11206.

Trains: L to Morgan Ave. Exit back of the train. Turn LEFT outside the station. Turn LEFT onto Boerum Street.

Showings on Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery Screen:

A program of dance for camera shorts will play continuously in the Gallery outside of the Walter Reade Theatre including: Arising by Ben Dolphin, Caution by Susannah Newman, Embodiments of Silence by Tim Glenn, An Issue of Trust by Allison Fischer, Multiplied Subtraction by Michael Cole, and Reincarnation by Takeshi Kushida.

Documentary Programs:

Ballerina

Bertrand Normand, 2007, France; 77m

For the balletomanes out there, Ballerina profiles six of the rising stars of the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg Russia. This film has been receiving rave reviews and was recently released on DVD from First Run Features. This program will be  accompanied by Play: On the beach with the Ballets Russes featuring archival footage of dancers from the Ballets Russes frolicking on the beach in Sidney, Australia during their 1936-1940 tours.

Wednesday Jan 7, Walter Reade Theatre 6:15pm  (repeats Jan 8, 1:30pm)

Antonio Gades: The Ethics of Dancing

Juan Cano Arecha, 2007, Spain; 56m

Here’s one for Flamenco lovers. This new documentary reveals previously unseen images of the dancer’s work, including his choreography for “Ad Libitum” danced with Alicia Alonso and an excerpt from “Giselle” in which he performed the role of Hilarion, among other surprises. The program is accompanied by two shorts by David Fernandez: Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear made with members of ABT and NYCB, and Icarus APR (Annual Percentage Rate) a solo based on a modern interpretation of the Icarus legend.

Thursday, Jan 8, Walter Reade Theatre 6:15pm (repeat Jan 9, 2pm)

The Dance of the Enchantress

Adoor Gopalakrishnan & Brigitte Chataignier, 2007, France; 70m

A film that explores the beauty of the Indian dance form of Mohiniyattam (“mohini means enchantress and attam translates as graceful movements) from the  southern state of Kerala. Both devotional and sensuous in nature, “Mohinitattam” lays emphasis on romance—the shades, colors and moods of love.

Friday, Jan 9, Walter Reade Theatre, 4pm (repeats Jan 16, 9pm)

American Masters Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About, with Panel

Judy Kinberg, 2008, USA; 112m

How does one describe a genius like Jerome Robbins—the choreographer/director who transformed the Broadway musical and left an indelible mark on the world of classical ballet? Here is a sneak-peek at an extraordinary documentary that explores this complex figure in all his contradictory colors. See it on the big screen prior to its PBS airing on February 4th.

Friday, Jan 16, Walter Reade Theatre 6:15pm

WORKSHOPS

Through the Lens

Study each day with four award-winning filmmakers

Jan 6-Ben Dolphin (director of ARISING)

Jan 7-Alla Kovgan (co-director of NORA)

Jan 8-Daniel Belton (director of MATCHBOX and AFTER DURER)

Jan 9-Douglas Rosenberg (co-director of OF THE HEART)

Workshop co-ordinated by Ellen Bromberg

Held at Dance New Amsterdam.

Click here for more info and to make reservations.

PANELS:

Judson Memorial Church Programs with Movement Research

Two discussions with screenings January 6 and 13, 2009, 7pm, Free

January 6th discussion led by Stacy Spence

Theme: Narrative/Abstract and Environments

With excerpts drawn from Helenka by Karen Rose, Black Spring by Benoit Dervaux, Mobius Strip by Vincent Pluss, and Night Practice by Susanna Wallin.

Stacy Spence is a New York choreographer, dancer, teacher who has worked internationally 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,

Cultural relationship to environment

With excerpts drawn from Alt I Alt by Tobjorn Skarild, Touched by David Hinton, Poem by Maia Sørensen, Inearthia by Simon Halbedo/Nazario Branca/Maren Sandmann, Reines d’un Jour by Pascal Magnin, and Lacho Drom by Tony Gatlif.

Jury Prize Awards Reception

Saturday, Jan 1oth, Walter Reade Theatre 7pm in Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, RSVP

Presenters Roundtable Brunch

Sunday, Jan 11, Walter Reade Theatre 11:30am in Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery

PANEL on New Online Distribution Platforms for Dance Media

Saturday, Jan 17, Walter Reade Theatre 4:00-4:30pm in Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery

Led by Marlon Barrios Solano with representatives from: TenduTV, Kaltura, Reframe, Dance-Media, and Dance-Tech.net in the Gallery

TOWN MEETING!!

Saturday, Jan 17, Walter Reade Theatre 4:30-6:00pm in Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery

TOWN MEETING for the Dance on Camera Community moderated by Zach Morris of the Dance Film Lab in the Gallery. Everyone is invited to participate and lend their voice to the discussion about dance film issues pertinent to them. After the meeting, members are invited to continue the conversation informally over coffee/tea at the nearby Le Pain Quotidien at 60 West 65th Street.
Finally, in case I’ve missed anything, here is a link to more last minute news about the festival. I’ll keep posting about events throughout the week. Hope to see you there!

The Making of FÜNF ‘N’ TWIST

Funf'n'Twist_Boys_arch.jpg

Dancers: Remi Harris, Matt Sweeney, Donna Costello, Kyleigh Sackandy, Zachary Pace, production still from Fünf ‘n’ Twist, directed by Anna Brady Nuse. Photo: Penelope Roussetzki

For the last three weeks I’ve been completely consumed by my videodance project, Fünf ‘n’ Twist. Last Thursday and Friday we shot all the prom scenes of the video, and it marked my first time directing (and producing) an indoor shoot.

Kerrie Welsh & J Why, on set of Fünf ‘n’ Twist. Photo: Susanna Christians
Kerrie_ladder.jpg
Through a monumental effort on the part of my cast and crew, we got all the essential shots done, including a tricky Busby Berkeley-esque overhead shot that required my DP, Kerrie Welsh, to climb a 16 foot extension ladder and mount her camera to the side with a hi-hat and rachet strap.

I haven’t even looked at the footage yet. I need a few days to clear my mind before I launch into the editing process, but I can share with you the storyboard for the scenes we shot, and some production stills.

Fünf ‘n’ Twist – Twist Dance Storyboard from Anna Brady Nuse on Vimeo.

This storyboard is of the twist dance scenes of the video. Originally I was also going to shoot a slow dance scene that would have more of an 80’s feeling. However on the first day of shooting we were getting very behind schedule, and I realized the slow dance scenes would have to be cut. I had already decided that they weren’t so essential to the story line, and in some ways they might have even detracted from the overall piece. The twist dance is at the opening of the video, and the dance along with the music will set up the themes of authoritarianism & rebellion, fear, sex, and that in between place I’m calling fünf, as well as point towards America’s cultural adolescence in the second half of the 20th Century.

Production still of Fünf ‘n’ Twist. Photo: Susanna Christians
Fünf-n-twist_Set_for_overhead.jpgRemarkably we were able to shoot all of the scenes I had envisioned without any major compromises. My dancers pulled off the choreography that I came up with on paper.. Donna Costello and Matt Sweeney, the two leads, rehearsed the choreography with me ahead of time and then taught it to the other three couples on set.

The dancers all handled the surprises I threw at them with poise and a can-do attitude. This included asking the guys to flip off the girls’ backs from a bridge position and do a cartwheel from the left side. The latter request wasn’t possible for all the male dancers to do, but our grip, Stephen Long, stepped in to save the day. With a background in gymnastics he put on the tux and performed the cartwheel perfectly, earning a second credit of “stunt double.”

Girls_duck-n-cover.jpg

Remi Harris, Kyle Pinneo, Donna Costello, Matt Sweeney, Production still from Fünf ‘n’ Twist.
Photo: Penelope Roussetzki

Now I just have one more scene to shoot, which is a “flash-forward” scene of the lead couple holed up in a dingy tenement with paper walls. I won’t give away the details, but I’m hoping to raise the funds and resources to shoot these scenes in early ’09. In the meantime I’ll be working hard along with my composer/collaborator, J Why to create a rough cut of the finished scenes to screen here in New York before the end of the year.

Funf-n-Twist_Twirl-Around.jpg

Production still from Fünf ‘n’ Twist. Photo: Susanna Christians

Here is a video study of the final scenes of the film, when the boy and girl escape the prom and run into a wild overgrown city park to “get it on.” Instead of portraying the cliche sex scenes literally, I decided to portray them in a ritualistic metaphorical way, where we see the inner feelings of the characters portrayed outwardly in symbolic imagery.

More images and video coming soon!

What’s My Frame?

Matt Gough replied to my call to action in “What’s in a Name?” and posted a couple responses on his tumblr, Quodlibet: here and here.

He asks: so i’m wondering how anna frames her work … why the preference for video dance, and what is her genre?

Well, as my blog is aptly titled, my frame moves around a lot. I
started out an experimentalist. I was just excited by what I could do
with a camera that I couldn’t do with live choreography. I was mostly
influenced by Maya Deren,
and her extensive experimentation with choreography for the camera. My
definitions of dance and choreography were always quite wide, but
having a camera to look through blew them open even further.  I could
capture movement wherever I found it and through editing I could shape
it anyway I chose. The movement didn’t need to be executed by humans. I
could create viewable dances literally out of anything, and in fact my
first two videodances were edited from footage of trash found on the
streets of Brooklyn.

"Trash Processional"

< “Trash Processional”

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What’s in a name?

mirror-camera_350x344.jpg

I figured for my first entry I should tackle the biggest question looming over the art form of dance for the camera today, and that is: what should it be called?

There are so many names being batted around: screendance, dance film, cinedance, kinodance, videodance, media dance. I’m sure there are more I don’t even know. Each one has its merits and problems. Each one is has its staunch following of supporters and naysayers.

But what is important about having a name? Everyone is always complaining about being pigeon-holed, mislabeled, stuck in a category. Isn’t one of the great things about this art form that it’s still emerging and being defined? Practitioners in the field now are like pioneers on the new frontier. As my friend Matt Cook, a Milwaukee-based poet says: “It was easy to write the Great American Novel when there were only 5 American Novels.” How exciting to be on the vanguard of a wave that hasn’t crested yet!

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