Dance on Camera Festival 2008 Pt. 1

Get ready New York. The 36th Annual Dance On Camera Festival & Symposium is coming to town, and it will start immediately after the new year. You need to be prepared, with notes and itinerary in hand, in order to discover all the gems that are embedded in this festival. No worries, Move the Frame will provide guidance and a road map through these jam-packed two weeks. For this post I will concentrate on the basics and the 14 programs at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center. In a follow-up post I will give a run down of other special events happening around the city (one of which I am curating at Collective:Unconscious!).


Horizon of Exile, photo: Nic Knowland

The basics:
What: Festival info can be found at, the website of the Dance Films Association.
When: January 2-19, 2008
Where: The main location of the festival is at the Walter Reade Theatre: Lincoln Center Plaza,165 West 65th Street. Tickets.

View Larger Map

Other locations:

Alvin Ailey Studios
405 West 55th Street, 5th Floor

Berkeley Carroll School
181 Lincoln Place, Park Slope Brooklyn (between 7th and 8th Ave)

Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD)
 841 Barretto Street, 2nd Floor (718) 842-5223
Directions: Take Number 6 train to Hunts Point

Bruno Walters Auditorium, New York Public Library
111 Amsterdam Ave (between 64th and 65th St)

Collective:Unconscious, 279 Church Street (between White & Franklin Sts.)

Donnell Library Center, The New York Public Library
20 W. 53rd Street, New York, NY
(across from Museum of Modern Art)

New York State Theatre, Lincoln Center

Spoke The Hub
The Gowanus at 295 Douglas Street
(between 3rd and 4th Avenues). Brooklyn, NY
 (718) 408-3234

Programs at the Walter Reade Theatre:
This is the home base of the festival with 14 programs and over 44 films to see. Where to begin!? Since the programs are just numbers, and don’t have titles, it can be really hard to figure out which ones will suit your tastes and interests. To help you navigate, I’ve categorized the Programs by type (as best as possible), and starred** the films and programs that I’m super excited about. The types are: narratives, experimental, shorts, ballet films, documentaries, and classics.


Program 4 (Thurs Jan 3: 9pm)

**HERE AFTER, Wim Vandekeybus, Belgium, 2007; 65m
From the creator of BLUSH (shown at DOCF in 2006), Vandekeybus is back with another dark and intense narrative about a mad tyrant who enforces infanticide in an isolated town. Sure to be bone crushing and stomach churning. Vandekeybus proves that dance films are not just fluffy and whimisical, but can be the stuff of nightmares as well.

**Program 9 (Sat Jan 5: 4pm; repeats Sun Jan 6: 8:30pm)

**THE BENTFOOTES, Todd Alcott and Kriota Willberg, USA, 2007; 75m
A ‘mockumentary’ a la Spinal Tap, The Bentfootes is a tongue-in-cheek exploration of American dance from post-revolutionary times to the present. Introduced by the directors


**Program 2 (Wed Jan 2: 8:30pm; repeats Thurs Jan 3, 4:15pm)

**HORIZON OF EXILE, Isabel Rocamora, United Kingdom/Spain, 2007; 22m
A breath-taking film of two women journeying across a desert landscape. Testimonials of Iraqi exiles are woven into the soundtrack with Jivan Gasparyan and singer Surma Hamid, an Iraqi exile now living in London. A MUST SEE!

**Program 10 (Sat Jan 5: 6:15pm; repeats Fri Jan 11: 1pm) Three intriguing films by Pierre Coulibeuf.

Pierre Coulibeuf, France, 2006; 24m
A collaboration with Angelin Prejlocaj. His works invent a place and a language on the borderline of the other arts, critiquing established forms and questioning representations of reality.

**BALKAN BAROQUE, Pierre Coulibeuf, France, 1999; 63m, clip
Experimental fiction. The autobiography, both real and imaginary, of Marina Abramovic, Body Art artist. The film composes the life aesthetic of a woman in her era, with a personal history strongly marked by the Yugoslavia of Tito, everyday violence, the experience of physical and psychic limits…

LE DEMON DU PASSAGE, Pierre Coulibeuf, France, 1995; 14m
Landscapes in which characters appear, disappear and reappear, seemingly trying to make a connection with one another but always in transition


**Program 2 (Wed Jan 2: 8:30pm; repeats Thurs Jan 3, 4:15pm)

LIFEFORCE #3, Lene Boel, Denmark, 2007; 10.5m
A man gets pulled into a machine.

FRAGMENTATION, Suzon Fuks, Australia, 2007; 5.8m
Two guys find an awkward connection over the morning newspaper.

FLYING, Phil Harder, Rosanne Chamecki, Andrea Lerner, USA, 2007; 4’37m
By New York dance favs, Chamecki/Lerner.

Program 4  (Thurs Jan 3: 9pm)

FANTASTIC FLOWER SHOP, Pawel Partyka, Denmark/Poland, 2001; 15m
An award-winning animated short set in a flower shop at closing time.

LIFE FORCE #1, Lene Boel, Denmark, 2007; 14m
An inventor gets carried away by the music in a pair of headphones and his machines come alive and dance with him.

**Program 7 – TRIBUTE TO PASCAL MAGNIN (Fri Jan 4: 6:15pm)

**REINES D’UN JOUR, Pascal Magnin, Switzerland, 1996; 28m
A striking film set in the Swiss Alps with rolling dancers, cows and villagers.

**CONTRECOUPS, Pascal Magnin, Switzerland, 1998; 23m
An intense urban duet between a man and a woman.

CARGO, Kelly Hargraves, USA, 2007; 4m
A man stuck at a pit stop on the road of life.

BOY, Rosemary Lee, Peter Anderson, UK, 1994; 6m
A boy transforms into a super hero while playing in the sand dunes.

**MOTION CONTROL, Liz Aggiss/Billy Cowie, UK, 2002; 8m
Two of my favorite dance filmmakers, Aggiss and Cowie are always quirky and always kick ass! This short is featured on the new Dance for Camera Vol. 2 DVD, and I can’t wait to see it!

**Program 8 (Fri Jan 4: 8:30pm; repeats Fri Jan 11: 6:15pm)
includes live performance by Company XIV on January 11th

**SHAKE OFF, Hans Beenhakker, The Netherlands, 2007; 9m, 35mm
An award-winning film featuring soloist Prince Credell as he moves through different times an spaces all in one shot. This is one of my favorite dance film techniques, when the camera and the body are choreographed seamlessly.

**MORNING HERD, Rick Harvie, New Zealand, 2007; 7.25m
I got to see this film in the pre-screening I attended. A young and adorable farmer boy takes a romp with his cows.

DESCENT, Noemie Lafrance, USA, 2003; 5m
A film of Lafrance’s signature dance that took place in a twelve story stairwell.

CAR MEN, Boris Paval Conem and Jiri Kylian, The Netherlands, 2006; 28m
A parody of the famous opera, this black & white film is set in a coal mine and centers around a ‘scrap car’ reminiscent of the futurist Czech Tatra of the 1930s.

**Program 9 (Sat Jan 5: 4pm; repeats Sun Jan 6: 8:30pm)

**DIVA, Liz Aggiss, UK, 2007; 3.50m
A jaded dance diva processes up the red carpet.

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

NIU NIU’s STORY, Mariel McEwan, USA, 2007; 6.22m
Dance, animation, and humor reveal the training and career of a young Chinese girl, Jia Wu, who was born to dance.

SCRAP LIFE, Su-En, Sweden, 2006; 8.30m
An homage to the art of recycling set at a scrap yard.

**Program 14 (Fri Jan 18: 6:15pm)

Film critic Armond White surveys how Hollywood musical choreographers inspired new generations of pop dance choreographers. (I went to see White’s music video program at Scanners a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. This should be a fascinating and very fun program for pop culture freaks.)

Ballet films:

Program 1. (Wed Jan 2: 6:15pm; repeats Thurs Jan 3: 2pm)

SPARTACUS, Vadim Derbenev and Yuri Grivorovich, Russia, 1975; 94m YouTube clip
A recently restored 1975 ballet film based on Yuri Grigorovich’s staging for the Bolshoi Ballet. Features many stars of the company.

Program 3 (Thurs Jan 3: 6:15pm; repeats Sat Jan 5: 1pm)

FELIA DOUBROVKSA REMEMBERED, Virginia Brooks, USA, 2008; 37m
A tribute to the great Russian ballerina and renown SAB teacher. Introduced by the director. Maria Calegari will be part of the Q&A on the Jan. 5th screening. Allegra Kent will attend as well.

SLEEPING BALLERINA, Ludovic Kennedy, United Kingdom, 1959; 29m
A BBC doc on Olga Spessivtzeva (1895-1991), the Aurora of Diaghilev’s 1921 production of ‘The Sleeping Princess’. Her career was cut short by mental illness, reputed to have come on onstage during the “mad scene” of “Gisele.”

HAPPY TO BE SO, Yelena Demikovsky, USA, 2007; 47m
A documentary about Oleg Briansky and Mireille Briane, former principal dancers, renowned ballet teachers, founders of the Briansky Saratoga Ballet School and a dynamic duo for more than 50 years.

**Program 13 (Fri Jan 11: 8:30pm; repeats Fri Jan 18: 8:30pm)

**WATER FLOWING TOGETHER, Gwendolen Cates, USA, 2007; 77m
This splendid documentary is a compelling cinematic portrait of former NYCB Principal Dancer Jock Soto. Introduced by the director and Jock Soto.


**Program 2 (Wed Jan 2: 8:30pm; repeats Thurs Jan 3, 4:15pm)

*PINA BAUSCH, Anne Linsel, Germany, 2006; 44m
There have been many documentaries on Pina Bausch, and yet, I never tire of seeing one more. This film goes into her background and development as a choreographer, from obscurity to greatness. Should be fascinating.

Program 5 (Fri Jan 4: 1pm; repeats Sun Jan 6, 6pm)

CHRISTOPHER HOUSE: AHEAD OF THE CURVE, Rosemary House, Canada, 2007; 48m. Trailer
An exploration of the art and inspiration of celebrated Canadian choreographer Christopher House, the artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre who will be performing at the Joyce Theatre at the end of January, 2008.

Anne Troake known for her wildly successful short PRETTY BIG DIG turns the camera on the cultural exchange between locals living near Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park and artists of Montreal’s Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, capturing the moment of creation and the spectacular work itself.

Program 11 (Sat Jan 5 8:30pm; Sat Jan 19, 3pm)

UNDERGROUND DANCE MASTERS: Final History of a Forgotten Era, Thomas Guzman-Sanchez, USA, 2007; 144m
A tour de force exploration of the origin, evolution, history and the creators of the Urban Dance forms of Boogaloo, locking, Popping, Roboting, Rocking and B’boying. Introduced by the director.

**Program 12 (Sun Jan 6 3:30pm; repeats Fri Jan 11; 4pm)

*INSIDE THE CIRCLE, Marcy Garriott, USA, 2007; 102m. Trailer
Capturing the raw power of a grassroots hip-hop movement, INSIDE THE CIRCLE tells the story of two talented b-boys, Josh and Omar, former best friends who become rivals when they join competing dance crews.


**Program 6 (Fri Jan 4: 3:30pm; repeats Sun Jan 6: 1pm)

**JOUR DE FETE, Jacques Tati, France, 1949/1995, 70m. YouTube clip
A comedic genius, Tati’s films are full of visual gags a la Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. In this film a gullible postman tries to speed up his mail route aboard his bicycle to hilarious ends.

I will post about the other festival events soon.

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3 Responses to Dance on Camera Festival 2008 Pt. 1

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    Before introducing my latest videodance venture starting in the new year, I feel the impulse to reflect on 2007 and share some of the experiences that have led me here to the brink of a new jumping off place.

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  3. Dance On Camera Festival – Week 2 events

    We’re now into week two of the Dance On Camera Festival, and there are still many more great events to catch! I highly recommend tonight’s shorts program at BAAD curated by the fabulous Arthur Aviles. I’ve heard that it will also include some live danc…

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