The 44th edition of Dance on Camera Festival marks two landmark occasions: the 60th anniversary of the founding of Dance Films Association, which co-presents the popular festival with the Film Society of Lincoln Center; and the 20th anniversary of the partnership between the two arts organizations on this unique annual event.
This year’s edition presents audiences with the worlds of ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance; modern and postmodern legends and discoveries; dances in gypsy enclaves as well as explorations into artistic expression and therapy; and stories from countries where female dance is taboo but nevertheless practiced. In addition to spotlighting the more traditional parameters of dance, the lineup also delves into the exciting world of trapeze, which lives by its own rules and conventions and is referred to by some as “ballet of the air.” The overall emphasis this year, as ever, is on diversity, passion, and commitment.
The 44th edition of the Dance on Camera Festival celebrates the worlds of ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance; modern and postmodern legends and discoveries; dances in gypsy enclaves as well as explorations into artistic expression and therapy; stories from countries where female dance is taboo but nevertheless practiced; and a spotlight on the exciting world of trapeze.
Opening Night · Q&A and cocktail reception to follow open to all ticketholdersThe Flying Gaonas were one of the greatest trapeze acts of all time, performing with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to gain worldwide recognition. Tom Moore’s documentary is rich with interview and archival footage, in which ambition, dedication, trust, and family bonds are conveyed with warmth and humor. Screening with: Love Songs for Robots (Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski, 4m).
Closing Night · Q&A and cocktail reception to follow open to all ticketholdersThe protean postmodern choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer, who at 80 years old continues to look at dance with an explorer’s heart, is the subject of Jack Walsh’s revealing documentary. Screening with: Public Displays (Michael Kirsch, 4m).
World Premiere · Q&A with Emelie MahdavianIn Emelie Mahdavian’s After the Curtain, four female dancers face disfavor in the post-Soviet, predominantly Muslim nation of Tajikistan. The women weigh their love of art against the pressure to conform in this documentary that celebrates the dance and music culture of a country largely unknown in the West. Screening with: Plow Plant Reap (Marta Renzi, 13m).
New York Premiere · Q&A with Eva VilaKarime Amaya, the grandniece of legendary flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya, arrives in Barcelona from Mexico in search of her roots. When her mother joins Karime to put on a show with some of the city’s musical talent, they discover the spirit of Bajarí—the word for Barcelona in Caló, the language of the gypsies.
Followed by an onstage appearance by Natalia MakarovaIn celebration of the great ballerina Natalia Makarova’s 75th birthday, we present Program 1 of the long-unseen four-part BBC TV Ballerina doc series, in which Makarova acts as narrator and guide. Featuring rare footage of iconic dancers of their time and commentary by major choreographers.
One of the greatest musicals of all time, Vincente Minnelli’s The Band Wagon features the stunning choreography of Michael Kidd, gorgeous performances by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, and a witty script about showbiz shenanigans by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
Q&A with D.A. Pennebaker & Chris HegedusBessie Schonberg danced with Martha Graham until a knee injury forced her to quit and turn to teaching, where her passion influenced many important dancers and choreographers. She narrates her own inspiring story in Bessie: A Portrait of Bessie Schonberg, which is intercut with personal and archival footage that includes her teaching at Juilliard, Dance Theater Workshop, and Jacob’s Pillow. Screening with: The GOLDs (Sue Healey, 34m).
North American Premiere · Q&A with Deirdre MulrooneyA forgotten chapter of modern dance history is revealed in Deirdre Mulrooney’s account of Erina Brady, an Irish-German dancer who brought German expressionist modern dance to a conservative, neutral Ireland shortly before World War II. Screening with: The Birch Grove (Gabrielle Lansner, 21m).
World Premiere · Q&A with Merrill Ashley, Ron Steinman, and Eileen DouglasMerrill Ashley is remembered as one of New York City Ballet’s reigning ballerinas and as a leading interpreter of Balanchine roles. In 1997, she retired from the company after sustaining numerous injuries. The Dance Goodbye documents Ashley coping with her loss and planning her next steps, and features a treasure trove of photos and performance footage that vividly bring a brilliant career to life. Screening with: David (Loughlan Prior, 13m).
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Béatriz MediavillaIn a remote corner of rural Quebec, choreographer Lynn Vaillancourt has been teaching dance, singing, and important life lessons to young people for the past 45 years. A black-and-white charmer, Dance with Them is full of humor and dramatic incidents involving children and teenagers on their way to young adulthood.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Alejandro Alvarez and Ulrik WivelSpanish choreographer Nacho Duato is fired after two decades of creative achievement with Madrid’s Compania Nacional de Danza. After accepting an offer to lead the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, he sets out to modernize the Russian company, in this revelatory documentary about an artist in transition. Screening with TACTUM: Elements of Dance (Krzysztof Stasiak, 28m).
Q&A with Tamar Rogoff, dancer Gregg Mozgala, and executive producer Véronique BernardThe unlikely collaboration between a veteran choreographer and a young actor with cerebral palsy delivers proof that everyone is capable of miraculous transformation as the two train for an opening-night performance. Screening with: Martiality, Not Fighting (Marianne M. Kim & Cheng-Chieh Yu, 10m).
New York PremiereIn Eileen Hofer’s film, three remarkable Cuban women demonstrate their enduring love for ballet. Their stories are interwoven to create a portrait of a country proud of its ballet heritage and of the dancers who keep it going despite the hardships they endure. Screening with: Cubano Bas (Kathy Rose, 3m).
Q&A with Matthew Diamond, Bennett Rink, and Andrew WilkYou don’t just see an Ailey performance, you feel it. And now you can experience the astounding Ailey dancers in an even deeper way as they make their big-screen debut, with a program of four audience favorites.
Moderated discussion with Norton Owen and Ron HonsaRon Honsa’s documentary is a profile of modern-dance pioneer Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers, the first all-male dance troupe in the United States. Screening with: Lar Lubovitch at Jacob’s Pillow (Lawrence Ott, 24m).
U.S. PremiereSoul-searching interviews and sizzling dance numbers create an unforgettable odyssey into the lives and passions of perhaps the most famous couple in tango history, María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes.
New York PremiereT.M. Rives’s Rare Birds follows Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman during the creation and completion of his new Swan Lake production for the Norwegian National Ballet. Screening with: Bird (Dunja Jocic & Marinus Groothof, 17m).
Q&A with Emma ChristopherMusic, dance, and interviews reunite the men and women living in Cuba with their Sierra Leone kin in Emma Christopher’s They Are We—an overdue celebration of this shared history. Screening with: Je suis un Cheval (Esther Baker-Tarpaga, 12m).
The short form continues to gain ground as the ideal platform for exploring the relationship between dance and film. This year’s Short Film programs are currently stretching the boundaries of the art form. The selection includes the concrete and the abstract and reveals that filmmakers and choreographers are partnering in exciting new ways.
From to the microscopic to the cosmic, these short films take viewers on journeys that explore reality and fantasy in equal measure. Featuring collaborations with neuroscientists and innovations in 3-D motion-capture technology, this selection includes the concrete and the abstract and reveals that filmmakers and choreographers are partnering in exciting new ways.
Featuring PS DANCE!, a documentary about dance education in public schools created by award-winning dance filmmaker Nel Shelby, dance ambassador Jody Gottfried Arnhold, and dance education consultant Joan Finkelstein. Preceded by a screening featuring the finalists from Capturing Motion NYC, Dance Films Association’s workshop and film competition program for high-school students throughout the five boroughs.
Experiencing the World, One Dance at a Time! World Premiere of Bare Feet in NYC with Mickela Mallozzi
Q&A with Mickela Mallozzi & Lina PlioplyteJoin Emmy® Award–winning travel host Mickela Mallozzi for the exclusive season premiere of Bare Feet in NYC with Mickela Mallozzi. She kicks off her New York series in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods: Chinatown.
In celebration of Dance Films Association’s 60th anniversary, join us for the release of the preliminary results of our recent item-level inventory and stories from the organization’s vault.
Join lead creatives and partners for an in-depth conversation on a transmedia approach to presenting dance in order to "bring incomparable performances representing a diverse range of American dance to audiences everywhere.”
Celebrate one of jazz technique’s great innovators, Eugene Louis “Luigi” Faccuito, with a discussion with Francis Roach, who has taught Luigi’s technique for over 20 years.
Honored by Dance Films Association with the 2016 Dance in Focus award, the two-time Emmy Award–winning and five-time Tony-nominated choreographer Pat Birch, perhaps best known as the mastermind behind the hand jive in the film Grease, joins Dance on Camera Festival for Meet the Artist to share insight into her sensational career as one of the most celebrated choreographers for the screen.
This open forum focuses on ways in which the practice of screendance—in the context of a theoretical and historical framework—can lead to a pedagogy for teaching the dance genre made for the camera.
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In its 42nd year, Dance on Camera is as diverse as ever, but many of the films in this year’s lineup reflect dance’s new perspective: a trend toward unusual collaborations (dance and skating, dance and horses, dance and circus) and a recognition that dance thrives best in the bosom of a creative community. Read More
Dance on Camera Festival, co-presented by the Film Society and Dance Films Association, returns to the Walter Reade Theater for the 16th consecutive year with an exciting and diverse array of dance films, many of them premieres, ranging widely in subject and genre: from the refinement of ballet coaching to the intense individuality of club dancing. The 14 programs include peerless international artists such as Natalia Makarova and Robert Wilson; historic dance presenters and companies such as Jacob’s Pillow, the Joffrey Ballet, and Pilobolus; innovative choreographer Wayne McGregor; and the inspired director Clara van Gool. Read More