Focus: Local Dance on Film at ScreenDance Miami

Illuminations by Magnus Sodamin
Illuminations by Magnus Sodamin
Courtesy of Magnus Sodamin

This week Tigertail Productions presents its second ScreenDance Miami festival, which will highlight mostly local choreographers and filmmakers who are working with movement and dance on film, and dance on camera.

Many dance makers are experienced with using video and film to record and preserve dance compositions and performances, or to use video and film as a notation tool to restage a piece.But these festival artists are exploring new concepts and techniques combining the visual and movement attributes of dance with cinematic expression and essentially broadening the look, tone and location of dance.

This year the event includes the festival opening with an international offering at Perez Art Museum Miami on Wednesday followed by screenings each night respectively at the Screening Room, Miami Beach Cinematheque, and the closing two nights on Saturday and Sunday at Inkub8.

See also: Water Dance Project Takes To the Beach

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The local presentations at Inkub8 include two Saturday workshops, "Art Law," by local attorney Marlon Hill, who will talk about legal issues for choreographers and filmmakers; and "Making a Screen Dance," a workshop for choreographers, dancers and directors led by dance-on-film pioneer Gabri Christa.

The night screenings at Inkub8 will begin with an outdoor wall installation of Heterodox, a film by artist Jared Sharon and choreographer Pioneer Winter, and will be projected outside before the evening's other screenings.

Winter says that Heterodox, filmed at the Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach, "recalls the events leading to the uprising and violent protests of June 28, 1969, which birthed the modern-day gay civil rights movement."

Winter adds that the value of a program like Screendance allows artists to "remind people of the beauty that exits in Miami and to find these magical places, develop work and then share the work and location with others."

Following the wall installation will be screenings of "Open Submission Artists" Stephanie Capon, Blaze Gonzalez, Paola Escobar, Samantha Pazos, Tiffany Rhynard, Afua Hall, Jeffrey Smith, Niurca Marquez, Danielle Kipnis, Dale Andree and Gabriel Forestieri; and screenings from "Invited Artists" Carla Forte, Alexander Ayer, Stefan Verna, Marissa Alma Nick, Jenny Larsson, Álex Pachón and Hattie Mae Williams. Both night's screening sessions will be followed by a ScreenTalk.

Artists Pazos, Forte, and Williams discussed some details about their work being presented and working with film as a medium for dance.

Pazos: "The work that is being screened, I hear a sigh across the sea, is tied to my thesis concert, Yo vengo de todas partes, and towards everywhere,which was originally presented at Florida State University. The concepts that were explored dealt with displacement, memory and home. It was originally meant to be a preview of the actual work, allowing the audience to enter the dancers' space and see different points of view through a series of close ups, low angle and high angle shots."

Forte: "In my work STARING AT THE CEILING, the ceiling stares at you and you do not stare back, and you leave it all alone, without sky, staring at its palindrome -- which is the floor. My primary intent as a filmmaker is to communicate my personal and social concerns, join images, dialogues, silences, music, colors and movement to create a visual equilibrium, speaking for themselves.

"Beyond an unorthodox narrative and aesthetic, my work focuses on experimenting new visual sensations through a conflict; reflecting a world of emotions that can be both very near reality and on the side of the nonexistent, creating a parallel universe in which the palpable and the desired become possible at the same time."

Williams: "Culture Concrete is a site-specific dance film that takes place at the historical Miami Marine Stadium in Virginia Key. I'm using film to re-frame and reclaim community spaces while keeping in mind the intention of capturing Miami's architecture, history, and much needed attention on local issues. I'm able to use dance to highlight the structure's negative space through movement and shapes and frame an abstract narrative."

Festival director and local film and dance artist Marissa Alma Nick shared the curatorial process and selection for both the open submission and invited guest categories. "'Invitational Artists' were selected by me throughout the year. I followed what choreographers and directors in Miami were creating, I asked around about new projects, and attended several openings and artists exchanges. Social Media was also an interesting way to follow artists and their evolutions.

As for the Open Submission call, "I was so excited about the work that came in this year, it was hard to narrow down the final selections. I think the festival will have to continue to grow so we can make room for all the incredible work coming in."

ScreenDance Miami this weekend at Inkub8 2021 NW First Pl., Miami. Workshops by Hill and Christa on Saturday only, at 1 and 2 p.m.; admission free.

Open Wall Projections scheduled 30 minutes before each evening program. Open Submissions screenings: Saturday at 7 p.m.; Sunday at 8 p.m.; $10 general admission.

Invited Artists screenings: Saturday at 9 p.m.; Sunday at 6 p.m.; $10 general admission. Tickets are available at door only. For all information on screenings, locations and times for the festival programs visit tigertail.org or call 305 324 4337.

-- Miguel Angel Estefan, Jr., artburstmiami.com

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

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Miami Beach Cinematheque

1130 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-673-4567

www.mbcinema.com


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