Greg Vander Veer's Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter. Photograph by Thomas Bouchard
Audiences will have a chance to kick up their heels again as the 2014 Dance on Camera series takes shape. Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association unveiled the lineup for the 42nd annual festival, which presents dance-centric films. Opening this year's event, the 18th consecutive year that the series has been hosted by Film Society, is the World Premiere of Greg Vander Veer's Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, a film about influential dance pioneer and instructor Martha Hill. Closing out Dance on Camera is the World Premiere of Kate Geis's Paul Taylor: Creative Domain, a privileged look at the choreographer’s process as he makes his 133rd dance and multiple U.S. and New York premieres magnified for the first time on the big screen.
Other highlights of Dance on Camera, taking place January 31 – February 4, include a “Spotlight on Ice” with the New York premiere of Keri Pickett’s documentary The Fabulous Ice Age about the glamorous age of big-scale ice spectaculars and a return engagement of Ice Theatre of New York with a brand new program featuring appearances by ice skating icons JoJo Starbuck and Dorothy Hamill, as well as ballet maestro Edward Villella with a premiere of his new ice dance “Reveries.”
The festival is also hosting the New York premiere of Fabrice Herrault’s poetic homage to ballet star Rudolf Nureyev on the 20th anniversary of his death, and a World Premiere of Secundaria, an insightful look from the vantage point of two high school dancers at the National Ballet School in Cuba—famous for churning out international stars in the dance world. The Man Behind the Throne turns the lens on Vincent Paterson, who has worked largely behind-the-scenes for Michael Jackson, Madonna, Björk and more.
“We are very excited to further extend the kinship between dance and film by introducing other elements,” commented Joanna Ney, curator for Dance on Camera. “Special Programs such as Ice Theatre of New York’s focus on artistic skating and collaboration with choreographers, musicians and designers is just one example of bringing a new slant to the dance perspective. More innovation comes from Yak Films with its documentation of global street dance. And we are pleased to showcase Joanna Mendl Shaw’s Equus Projects in a film that brings dancers and horses into a creative union. It’s a new world of possibilities this year.”
Tickets to Dance on Camera will go on sale to members of the Film Society and Dance Films Association on Tuesday, December 10 and to the General Public on Tuesday, December 17. See three films or more and save with a Discount Package or buy an All-Access Pass for just $99.
Jackie Paré's Tap Or Die
Film Descriptions and Schedule:
Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter (2014) 80m (World Premiere)
Director: Greg Vander Veer, Country: USA
Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter tells the inspiring and largely unknown story of a woman whose life was defined by her love for dance. Martha Hill emerges as dance's secret weapon, someone who fought against great odds to establish dance as a legitimate art form in America. Through archival footage, lively interviews with friends and intimates, and rare footage of the spirited subject, the film explores Hills's arduous path from a Bible Belt childhood in Ohio to the halls of academe at NYU and Bennington College to a position of power and influence as Juilliard's founding director of dance (1952-1985). Peppered with anecdotal material delivered by dance notables who knew her, this revelatory story depicts her struggles and successes, including the battle royal that accompanied her move to the Lincoln Center campus.
Director Greg Vander Veer and Additional Panelists Will Attend the Screening.
Homegoings: A Dance (2013) 5m
Director: Christine Turner, Country: USA
Inspired by the award-winning documentary Homegoings, this original dance piece finds meaning and beauty in the life cycle.
Friday, January 31, 8:00pm
Paul Taylor: Creative Domain (2013) 82M (World Premiere)
Director: Kate Geis, Country: USA
Paul Taylor is one of the dance world's most elusive and admired choreographers. For over 50 years, he has only given glimpses into his creative process, but for his 133rd dance, Three Dubious Memories, he opens the door and allows the filmmaker into his creative process. The dance he is choreographing is a Rashomon-like exploration of memory, three characters entangled in a relationship, each believing only in his own dark memory of it. The dominant voice in the documentary is Taylor's, and it is alternately soothing, demanding and amused. Between the guarded and unguarded moments, the viewer is witness to a mysterious work ethic that has created some of the most iconic modern dances of our time.
Director Kate Geis and Dancers Featured in the Film Will Attend the Screening.
Tuesday, February 4, 8:00pm
All This Can Happen (2012) 50M (New York Premiere)
Director: Siobhan Davies and David Hinton, Country: UK
A flickering dance of intriguing imagery brings to light the possibilities of ordinary movements from the everyday which appear, evolve and freeze before your eyes. Made entirely from archive photographs and footage from the earliest days of moving image, “All This Can Happen” follows the footsteps of the protagonist from the short story ‘The Walk’ by Robert Walser. Juxtapositions, different speeds and split frame techniques convey the walker’s state of mind as he encounters a world of hilarity, despair and ceaseless variety. Hinton is an award winning director who has worked with some of the best known names in contemporary dance, including DV8 Physical Theatre , Siobhan Davies, and Russell Maliphant.
Crosswalk (2013) 4M
Director: RJ Muna, Country: USA
A crosswalk is a unique place and this short film explores what can happen in it and how it is navigated second by second. An experimental delight that captures both the routine and the unexpected.
Dervishes (2013) 4M
Diector: RJ Muna , Country: USA
A perfectly calibrated study of movement and physical architecture based on the characteristics of circular movement.
Friday, January 31, 6:15pm
Giselle (2013) 105M (New York Premiere)
Director: Toa Fraser , Country: New Zealand
Director Toa Fraser brings The Royal New Zealand Ballet to the big screen, capturing their acclaimed production of the ballet classic Giselle. Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg have re-staged the production (after Petipa) with an eye toward the inherent drama of the tragic romance. The two-act ballet has been reimagined by Fraser, who interweaves the filmed stage performance with behind the scenes moments that hint at a romance between the dancers. ABT principal Gillian Murphy and RNZ’s Qi Huan perform the doomed lovers with impressive conviction and the second act captures the haunting essence of this enduring masterpiece.
Sunday, February 2, 8:00pm
Hästdans På Hovdala (2013) 60m (World Premiere)
Director David Fishel, Country: USA
Imagine a life devoted to marrying the artistry of dance with the physicality of horsemanship! That is exactly what the unconventional choreographer JoAnna Mendl Shaw has done with Equus Projects. Her previous large-scale works for dancers and horses have been produced throughout the United States. Now, she takes her company to Sweden to work with new elements and new friends in the rural countryside. Ulrike Michels Nord, director of Klinten Kultur, a company of young adults with autism, opens the way for the American choreographer to create a magical piece that expresses the joys and challenges of bringing together unfamiliar beasts (the new horses), trainers, professional dancers and autistic individuals to make a work of art in a mystical setting—the Hovdala castle and library ruin deep in a forest. The challenge is to accomplish this feat in just 12 days!
Subject Mendl Shaw and Dancers Will Attend the Screening.
Carry It On (2103) 19M
Director: Sharon Leahy, Country: USA
Carry It On… explores the power and potential of place and our relationship to it. A cast of dancers and musicians explore the human need to gather and connect with their environment.
Saturday, February 1, 1:00pm
Kenneth Sherman's Tap Tap Tap
How Like An Angel (2012) 46M (New York Premiere)
Director: Yaron Lifschitz, Country: UK
This bold collaboration of music and movement blends Circa's exhilarating brand of contemporary circus with the exquisite sound of I Fagiolini's choral singing. How Like An Angel, commissioned by the London 2012 Festival, celebrates the beauty and grandeur of three stunning English cathedrals while displaying the artistry of the circus performers. Polyphonic Films captures the live performance brilliantly, catching the essence of this ground-breaking collaboration. Film commissioned by The Space in association with BBC.
Widow (2013) 13M
Director: Jil Guyon
Features an iconic, enigmatic woman encapsulated in a stark, futuristic environment. Gradually she reveals the evolving mystery of her psychological condition, a shifting tableau of personal loss and the struggle for transcendence.
Tuesday, February 4, 3:00pm
La Passion Noureev (2013) 56M (New York Premiere)
Director: Fabrice Herrault
From the moment of his dramatic leap to freedom at Paris' Bourget Airport in 1961, Rudolf Nureyev was embraced as a ballet idol. On the 20th anniversary of his death, Fabrice Herrault, a notable NY ballet teacher and film collector trained at the Paris Opera Ballet and the Conservatoire, has assembled an impressionistic tribute film that showcases this Byronic artist in some of his peerless early performances through archival footage, much of it previously unseen, revealing “Rudi” at the peak of his powers. As director of the Paris Opera Ballet, Nureyev guided the careers or rising stars, among them Sylvie Guillem and Isabelle Guerin. Guerin will join the filmmaker and French dance historian Helene Ciolkovitch, to share memories of her mentor.
Oublier Le Temps (2012) 5M
Director: Boroka Nagy
A young woman notices her shadow, which triggers memories of her past love.
Lost In Motion 2 (2013) 4M
Director: Ben Shirinian
Framed on a highly stylized environment, the film lures the viewer into the world of the performer, brought to life by dancer Heather Ogden, with choreography by Guillaume Coté of the National Ballet of Canada.
Sunday, February 2, 6:00pm
Prima (2013) 57M (New York Premiere)
Director: Tatyana Bronstein
Prima is moving portrait of Larissa Ponomarenko, prima ballerina of the Boston Ballet, who has recently hung up her pointe shoes to pursue new avenues of self-expression. Through flashbacks to her journey from a difficult childhood and rigorous ballet training in Russia to her emergence as the prima ballerina of a leading American ballet company, the film captures Larissa's uniqueness as an artist of many emotional colors. Now, as she transitions from prima ballerina to mentor to aspiring dancers, she also magically re-invents herself as a dancer, showing a new expressivity and a more modern approach to her art in filmed improvisations in unexpected settings– a field, a forest, even a subway station!
Director Tatyana Bronstein Will Attend the Screening.
Me – Story of a Performance (2013) 8M
Director: Jopsu Ramu
ME: Story of a Performance is an intriguing collaboration between Finland and Japan. Choreographer/dancer Johanna Nuutinen performs a solo piece, which is photographed from different points of view to a haunting score by Jukka Backlund.
Monday, February 3, 3:30pm
Ysaye McKeever's Tizzy
Secundaria (2013) 96M (New York Premiere)
Director: Mary Jane Doherty
Why are so many world-class ballet companies relying on Cuban dancers? What is special about their training in a society that offers rare opportunities but with with strings attached? With curiosity and admirable patience, Mary Jo Doherty follows one high school class for three years through Cuba's famous National Ballet School, focusing principally on two teenagers – Mayara, shy but accomplished, and Gabriele, the equally talented extrovert. The quietly riveting film offers a privileged in-depth look at the training and home life of these students, culminating in a dramatic crisis when one dancer decides to take charge of her destiny.
Director Mary Jone Doherty Will Attend the Screening.
Tizzy (2013) 3M
Director: Ysaye McKeever
A playful duet between a man and dodge ball, inspired by the form of a 12-bar blues.
Monday, February 3, 6:00pm
Tap Or Die (2013) 62M
Director: Jackie Paré
For decades tap was a hugely popular performance dance form. But is it in crisis? This film tells the story of a genre through the prism of Derick Grant, an African American choreographer struggling to bring his hip, rousing show to Broadway. Mentored by the genre's giants, Grant says tap has given him a voice. Indeed, his feet have something to say. A gallery of talented tappers raise their voices and make their moves, expressing their love for a dance form that may be in need of re-invention through role models and community support. Footage of legendary tappers–Bill Robinson, Honi Coles, Gregory Hines and more, adds pizzazz and interviews with hoofers and experts illuminate.
Director Jackie Pare Will Attend the Screening.
Tap Tap Tap (2013) 8M
Director: Kenneth Sherman
A dance parody of the infamous Republican Senator Larry Craig's airport washroom sex scandal styled as a 1930's Busby Berkeley film.
Friday, January 31, 3:30pm
The Fabulous Ice Age (2013) 73M (New York Premiere)
Director: Keri Pickett
The exciting journey begins in 1915 when a young German skater ignites America’s love with dancing on ice. “The Fabulous Ice Age” chronicles a century of theatrical skating, from Berlin’s Charlotte, to America’s Ice Follies, Ice Capades, Holiday on Ice, and the Sonja Henie shows, illustrating how these big spectaculars dominated live entertainment for decades while, simultaneously depicting one particular skater's quest to share this history. Never before seen footage, photos and rare archival material introduce us to a handful of skaters, producers and entrepreneurs who helped change their world.
Director Keri Pickett & Figure Skater/photographer Roy Blakey (“uncle Roy”) Will Attend the Screening.
Sunday, February 2, 1:15pm
Keri Pickett's The Fabulous Ice Age
The Man Behind The Throne (2012) 58M
Director: Kersti Grunditz
Until now, Vincent Paterson has remained the dance world's best kept secret, avoiding the spotlight and concentrating on the work itself. So it may come as a surprise to learn that he is, as the film's title suggests, the Man behind the careers of superstars Michael Jackson and Madonna, in fact, the inventor of some of their defining dance moves, as well as the choreographer who created the ensemble dance numbers for Bjork and dancers in Lars von Trier's cult classic, Dancer in the Dark. Through previously unseen rehearsal footage from Paterson's own private collection and iconic films clips that made history (Smooth Criminal, Blonde Ambition and more), the film looks at the private Vincent. From his family oriented Catholic boyhood in suburban Pennsylvania to the glamor factory of Hollywood and the heady experience of choreographing for Cirque de Soleil's Viva Elvis!, this is a personal and professional journey to be savored.
Director Kersti Grunditz Will Attend the Screening.
It's A Feeling: Dancing with Jeff Selby (2013) 9M
Director: Diana Quinones Rivera
Jeff Selby has found his niche: As a dancer and teacher he inspires others but it could have been different. This engaging short establishes how family support and the love of dance have kept him on track through hard times growing up in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. Connecting to the sound of House Music he is moved to create his dynamic trademark New Style Hustle.
Monday, February 3, 8:30pm
The Unseen Sequence (2013) 69M (US Premiere)
Director: Sumantra Ghosal
The Unseen Sequence finds new meanings and renewed vigor in India's classical dance tradition through one dedicated disciple. Malavika Sarukkai is a celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer rooted in that tradition but imbued with a uniquely contemporary sensibility that she exerts on this prescribed form, turning each performance into a new, revelatory experience. As a superb interpreter of Bharatanatyam's rhythmic and expressive aspects, she is the perfect guide for this investigation of an ancient art that has evolved from temple dance to court entertainment to a new, more universal model. Beautifully shot in temples and sacred sites, the film blends interviews, historic footage, and performance to create a truly mind enhancing experience.
Introduction by Hari Krishnan, a Bessie Nomimated Choreographer and Assistant Professor of Dance at Wesleyan University.
Pas (2013) 4M
Director: Charli Brissey & Courtney Harris
This delightful parody draws upon ballet’s codified steps to embody animal qualities. Pas de chat and pas de cheval are ballet staples but take a look at this!
Friday, January 31, 1:00pm
Shorts Program – The short form is gaining ground as the ideal platform for exploring the relationship between dance and film. Whatever the mood, explosive (Carly’s Exit) or provocative (2412); bizarre (Magma) or lyrical (No More Worry, No More Blue); exuberant (Momentum) or whimsical (Drawing Blank), these filmmakers dare to push the envelope in original ways. The selection includes the concrete and the abstract and reveals that filmmakers and choreographers are partnering in exciting new ways.
Saturday, February 1, 3:30pm
2412 (2013) 8M
Director: John T. Williams
A highly controversial and thought-provoking film based on the 1984 G. Edward Griffin interview with EX-KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov discussing ideological subversion in the United States.
Carly's Exit (2013) 7M
Director: Harry Amies
A dramatic and passionate film about one of life's darkest subjects: A friend is in trouble, bent on self-destructing, but can one save her from herself?
Drawing Blank (2012) 6M
Director: Stefan Verna
An artist discovers a magical property inside a discarded ink sketch. A miniature dance partner comes to life through the world of paper and ink.
Healah Dancing (2013) 5M
Director: Eve McConnachie
A study in motion as two Scottish Ballet dancers connect and disconnect. Erik Cavallari and Eve Mutso are the intense couple performing a duet of sensuous contact and electric fury.
Magma (2010) 6M
Director: Rannvá Káradóttir & Marianna Mørkøre
Country: Faroe Islands
Shot in the extreme landscapes of the remote Faroe Islands far up in the North Atlantic Ocean, free of dialogue or narrative, this film creates a bizarrely hypnotic atmosphere that recalls images from Swedish master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.
Momentum (2012) 7M
Director: Boris Seewald
For some it is just an ordinary party snack, but for Patrick a tortilla chip started his moment of self-discovery. Through exuberant dancing he shares his inspiration and invites everyone to participate. Even his mother….”
Natural Selection (2013) 6M (World Premiere)
Director: David Fishel
This amusing film explores one woman's battle against rigid forms. Created for Dances Made to Order.
No More Worry, No More Blue (2013) 4M
Director: Kathy Rose
Kathy Rose makes magic with her hand-made art. In this music video, she offers various visual interpretations of a poetic ballad by Greg Boyer. Here, images of water scenes, paper flying, mysterious figures in a surreal fantasy all combine to create a special universe.
Rooms (2013) 6M
Director: Paul Sarvis
Two lives, a youthful one and an elderly one, are juxtaposed in separate yet interlocking images to suggest a relationship between the two even though one may not exist.
Rules of the Game (2013) 9M
Director: Jeff & Rick Kuperman
Trust between four factory workers is severely tested when management turns a watchful eye on them.
The Perfect Dance (2013) 9M
Director: Anne Elvedal
A woman tries to find a rhythm with different men, but fails again and again until she finds her own. A comic yet moving narrative about finding true love.
Dance and Community Shorts Program – This program is dedicated to those artists who find their inspiration in community. These five short films share some common traits and demonstrate a youthful optimism, as well as a rebellious spirit that once ruled, sadly waned and seems, now, to be springing up in near and distant parts of the globe. From the rolling hills of West Virginia (Dan’s House) to the rough streets of Dublin’s inner city (The Area), these performers gather to tell their stories or simply express the desire to understand one another despite their differences.
Sunday, February 2, 3:30pm
Dan's House (2012) 20M
Director: Michelle Fletcher
Inspired by Dan Wagoner, a choreographer with a unique vision, this film is a valentine to a beloved mentor and the choreographic aesthetic he cultivated during the 25 years he directed his company, Dan Wagoner and Dancers. Filmed on location at his 18th century farm house (no electricity!) in rural West Virginia, dancers, family and friends gather and a trio of performers unite to perform a playful, rambunctious series of dances in beautiful outdoor locations, with Wagoner himself as guiding spirit.
GIMP – The Documentary (2011) 14M
Director: Richard Move
Challenging the prevalent societal precepts about the nature of beauty, the dancer and the dance, this powerful film also makes visible an often invisible demographic, as it captures the creative process, performance and public response to the theatrical dance work “The GIMP Project” by Heidi Latsky Dance.
Je Ne Sais Plus Qui A Fait Quoi (2013) 9M
Director: Antoine Renouard
This intense movement piece with its seemingly unrelated, disparate characters, all expressing a different state of being, grows more compelling in its arc, reflecting both the absurdity and the necessity of attempted unity in a time of global disorder.
Ondek (2013) 6M
Director: Louis-Martin Charest
A merchant sailor decides to leave behind a life at sea. As he orchestrates what is to be his last night in the company of his crewmates, dancing becomes the means to imprint this momentous time forever.
The Area (2013) 25M
Director: Ríonach Ní Néill & Joe Lee
The Macushla Dance Club for +50 is a motley group of people from Dublin's rough and tough north inner city, who share a common love of dancing. Their lives are written on this city's streets. Buildings may have gone up and got torn down, but they've excavated their memories from under car-parks, tenements and half-built ruins to share their lives, loves, losses, and most of all, their irrepressible joy for life.
David Fishel's Hästdans På Hovdala
Ice Theater of New York
Ice Theatre of NY: Ensemble and Collaboration on Ice (2013) 90M (New York Premiere)
Director: Moira North
Last year DOC introduced the innovative work of Ice Theatre through a historical perspective, focusing on the development of ice dancing. This year, Olympian and US National Pairs Champion JoJo Starbuck looks at the modern day movement of artistic ice ensembles, in particular the John Curry Ice Dancers, with excerpts from his ground-breaking spectaculars and TV specials such as “The Snow Queen” and including his amazing Fred Astaire routine. ITNY’s founder and director Moira North and artistic director Douglas Webster explore the company’s more recent collaborations, culminating in rehearsal footage and a recorded performance of “Reveries,” choreographed by ballet maestro Edward Villella.
Ice Skating Legend Dick Button, Olympians Dorothy Hamill & Jojo Starbuck, Itny’s Founder & Director Moira North, Itny Artistic Director Douglas Webster, Choreographer Edward Villella Will Attend the Screening.
Saturday, February 1, 6:15pm
Yak Films, an international production team, is synonymous with a unique style of street-based documentation of the global dance movement. This visual wrecking crew uses multimedia to share the talents of young people around the world. Their work with urban dance began with the legendary TURF FEINZ crew from Oakland, CA, innovators of the TURF dancing style. DOC will be presenting a special program of unseen footage shot at international dance events in New York, Russia, Germany, Dresden, Korea and Japan.
Filmmakers will attend this screening.
Saturday, February 1, 8:30pm
Story / Time 3D (2013) 70M (World Premiere)
Director: Jedediah Wheeler
In January, 2012 the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company presented the world premiere of “Story/Time”, a new work commissioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State University. This new piece, inspired by John Cage’s landmark work “Indeterminacy”, challenged existing notions of dance and storytelling through the company’s masterful dancing and Jones’ performance of 60 one-minute long tales from his journals. During the premiere run the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) filmed the production using state-of-the-art 3D cameras, with plans to present dance performance in a brand-new way. Join us and witness Bill T. Jones as you’ve never seen him before. 3-D Production Services Provided by NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion to further explore capturing dance in 3D. The panel will bring together top industry professionals to discuss why dance and 3D cinema were made for each other. Potential panelists include: Bill T. Jones, Jedediah Wheeler, NHK, Sony, and Cameron Pace.
Tuesday, February 4, 6:00pm
Art Exhibit – Furman Gallery
Exhibit by Klaus Lucka
Perceptual Motion, an interactive exhibit by photographer and director, Klaus Lucka, is the enhancement of dancers’ performances, both in video and still images, initially by adding layers of the same video and moving each video layer by one frame.
January 30 to February 5
Free Panel Discussions:
Curriculum for Dance Film
Dance on Camera Co-Curator, Liz Wolff and Dance Films Association, Executive Director, Christy Park lead a roundtable discussion to explore the incorporation of dance and film in higher education curriculum in an academic setting where dance and film already exist independently. Guest speakers include Amy Yopp-Sullivan, Jedediah Wheeler, Paul Galado, Timothy Cowart.
Friday, January 31, 5:00pm
Sebastian Rich: Bullets to Broadway
After thirty years of filming and photographing the world’s most violent wars and conflicts, award-winning British photographer Sebastian Rich is turning his lens to something more beautiful but no less powerful – the world of dance. Sebastian will join choreographer Igal Perry and Liz Wolff, Dance on Camera Curator, to explore his photography and his journey from bullets to ballet.
**An exhibit of Rich’s dance photographs will be on display at Peridance Capezio Center at 126 East 13th Street, New York, where Sebastian spent time photographing the Peridance Company last year. This panel and the exhibit are made possible through the generous support of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Saturday, February 1, 5:00pm
Meet the Artist with Jonathan Demme
Director Jonathan Demme joins Dance on Camera to speak about his work in the dance film medium.
Tuesday, February 4, 5:00pm