In the world of dance and movement, utilizing film as a medium opens up a new world of options not available in live, site-specific performance. Boundaries can be broken, the laws of physics can be defied -- when film is involved, anything is possible.
And here in Miami, anything is on the agenda. ScreenDance Miami, launching its second annual event on January 23, is a unique festival dedicated to showcasing the amazing art of dance on film that's burgeoning in our backyard.
The second edition of the festival has grown significantly. Last year's events all sold out, said John Kramel, Director of Operations for Tigertail Productions, the festival's organizers. This year they've added new concepts and new locations, including PAMM, the opening night venue.
"What's happening this year is that it's really elevated to not just a national but an international festival," explained festival director Marissa Alma Nick, a Miami-born dancer, choreographer and filmmaker. "It's perfectly parallel for the type of city Miami is becoming and really already is."
The festival kicks off on Wednesday, January 21, with a special program of screenings from Cinedans, a world-famous festival out of Amsterdam.
"I was able to forge a relationship with the festival last year in March. I went to Amsterdam through an artist's access grant," Nick said. "In the dance world, Cinedans is the international film festival for dance, The fact they agreed to lend us a program is very exciting."
She hopes that the screening is the first of many dance-centric programs to appear at PAMM.
the festival will also feature film loops by Moira Holohan, Barron Sherer and Magnus Sodamin, shown at The Screening Room in Wynwood on Thursday, January 22. Friday will feature an evening of films by artists Marta Renzi, John Kirkscey and Eva Perrota at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
Saturday includes two free workshops for artists at Inkub8 in Wynwood, one on legal issues for choreographers and filmmakers, and the other on new points of view for those capturing dance on film. Then, in the evening, there's an outdoor wall installation of a film by Pioneer Winter. Indoor there will be film screenings by a host of Miami artists including Stephanie Capon, Blaze Gonzalez, Paola Escobar, Samantha Pazos and Tiffany Rhynard, among others.
Nick also selected several works through a public submission process. "I was surprised at the work that came out of Miami," she said. "It just keeps getting better and better. It paints such a picture of the city as seen through the eyes of dancers and film directors. That's something I'm incredibly proud of and pleased about."
"ScreenDance is an opportunity for choreographers to insert steps they couldn't do on stage," Kramel explained. "On stage you can't cut, in a film you can. You can do things on a screen that you can't do on a stage; you can jump higher, you can cut to the next scene and things like that."
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The festival runs from Wednesday, January 21, through Sunday, January 26, at various locations throughout the city. Ticket prices range from free admission to $16 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit tigertail.org.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.