Soundbreaker: The World of Kimmo Pohjonen
Dance on Camera gives Film Society audiences the opportunity to take in some of the purest and most unique visual experiences they'll get all year. In its celebration of movement on film, the festival has dedicated itself not only to a deeper understanding of traditional forms of dance, but to the wide array of mediums and genres that contributes to the art of motion and motion pictures. That's why this year you'll find films and programs dedicated to ice skating, avant-garde accordian performance, and even "dancing" garbage trucks.
It's nearly impossible to express the breadth of options on display in words, so we've put together a collection of videos to help whet your appetite for this kinetic fest, which kicks of Friday night!
Opening Night film Five Dances is a gay coming-of-age story set in the downtown dance world. Check out the sexy trailer for the latest from director Alan Brown:
Among the festival's tributes is a celebration of the work of legendary director/choreographer Busby Berkeley. For an example of Berkeley's work, look no further than Ginger Rogers performing "We're In the Money," the opening number from Gold Diggers of 1933:
The fest's Commercial & Art Program is a discussion of dance film in the commercial and visual arts world. Check out this ad for Kate Spade made by panelist Celia Rowlson-Hall, a choreographer and filmmaker:
One of the most singular and anticipated programs is a presentation of work from the Ice Theatre of New York, with skating legends like Dick Button and Sarah Hughes in person. If you had any doubt in your mind that ice skating was dance, check out this 2012 performance by ICNY skaters of an acrobatic piece entitled "Molecular."
One of Dance on Camera's retrospective screenings this year is the classic flamenco drama Los Tarantos, inspired by Romeo and Juliet and nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1963. Here's a characteristically rhythmic number from the film:
Documentary Merce Cunningham, A Legacy of Dance follows a group of dancers, directors and archivists as they seek to preserve the legacy of a modern dance master. Watch an excerpt from The Collaborators: Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg to get a taste of Cunningham's style, and delve even further with the Merce Cunningham Trust's web series Mondays with Merce:
Matthew Bourne's groundbreaking production of Swan Lake leaps off the screen in stunning 3D. Head to the Dance Films Association blog for a discussion of the relationship between 3D technology and dance film and watch a teaser for the eye-popping film below:
Festival program Passing the Torch: The Legacy of Jose Limon and Anna Sokolow celebrates two legendary choreographers through clips demonstrating their work and a lively discussion of their legacy. Here's a fascinating video about the reconstruction of Anna Sokolow's "Steps of Silence" from notes and a montage of excerpts from Jose Limon's "There is a Time":
Oscar-nominated documentary Paul Taylor: Dancemaker gets a 15th anniversary screening at this year's fest. Get an introduction to Taylor's work with these scenes from "Cascade" and "Brief Encounters" performed by the Paul Taylor Dance Company:
Dance on Camera pays tribute to dancer-turned-filmmaker Shirley Clark with not one, but two programs dedicated to her legacy. Watch bridges dance in this excerpt from Shirley Clarke's influential Bridges-Go-Round:
In their Valtari Mystery Film Experiment, boundary-pushing Icelandic band Sigur Rós challenged directors to make films inspired by their new album. In Sigur Rós: Video Music, we'll present a selection of these films that have a focus on dance. For an example, try Valtari, written & directed by Christian Larson and choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui:
Soundbreaker: The World of Kimmo Pohjonen documents the work of Finland's enfant terrible of the accordion. It's an apt moniker (and one we could say all day!) and it becomes clear why when you watch Pohjonen perform, in this case at Tallinn in 2008:
We teased you with dancing garbage trucks, and here they are! Choreographer and filmmaker Allison Orr discusses her Trash Project with Austin public radio station KUT, the result of which is the astounding film Trash Dance:
And finally, check out this teaser for Sue Healey's Virtuosi, a portrait of eight dancers from New Zealand who are now scattered across the globe pursuing their craft: