Sue Healey, 2021, Australia, 4m
Eileen Kramer is 107 years old, possibly the oldest performer and choreographer working today. In 1940s Sydney, she was a member of the dance troupe headed by Gertrud Bodenwieser, an influential European choreographer of German Expressionism who fled the war in Europe and settled in Australia. Bodenwieser played a significant role in shaping early Australian modern dance, and her legacy lives on in the work of Eileen Kramer. This film is a collaboration between Australian choreographer/filmmaker Sue Healey and Berlin musicians David Orlowsky (clarinet) and David Bergmüller (lute) for their album Alter Ego, which will be released on 6 May 2022 (Warner Classics).
Elliot deBruyn, Nathaniel Brown, Caili Quan, 2021, USA, 18m
Chamorro with English subtitles
Chamorro Filipino choreographer and dancer Caili Quan pays tribute to the family and culture of Guam that sparked her love of music and inspired her dream of dancing. In contemporary dances set to music from the Pacific, Quan explores her own heritage through memories and conversations with her family. Each dance is inspired by a different facet of Guam’s culture: oral storytelling, matrilineal roots, the warrior spirit, and the deep importance of family. Through every story and gesture there is a common thread of mahålang, a Chamorro word encompassing the longing for, and missing of, something, someone, or some place. Weaving a narrative of how collective memory and storytelling preserve where we come from, Mahålang is a love letter to Guam.
You Who Never Arrived
Marius Olteanu, 2021, Romania, 15m
German, Hungarian, and Romanian with English subtitles
The journey of three men—part dance into the unknown, part quest for meaning—animates this film based on Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. “Most experiences are unsayable; they happen in a space that no word has ever entered,” wrote Rilke. And still, there are words that connect people over time, shaping their lives and inextricably linking them together.
Pallae: Womanhood Story (빨래)
Park Sohyun, 2021, South Korea, 26m
Korean with English subtitles
“Have you ever waited for someone?” Pallae, a production choreographed by Nam Jeongho that premiered in 1993, returns to the stage. A new team of five dancers, including one dancer who had participated in a production of Pallae 15 years ago, spend a night doing their laundry and bathing together, with the washplace doubling as the backdrop stage for Pallae in 2021.
The Nangiarkoothu Artist
New York Premiere
Deepa Nair, 2020, India/USA, 12m
Malayalam with English subtitles
The Nangiarkoothu Artist is a documentary dance portrait of an ethnic artist from Kerala, India. A hybrid piece, this film uses a multi-narrative approach, employing modes of traditional storytelling and a staged dance performance to create a poetic profile of Aparna Nangiar, a young exponent of classical Nangiarkoothu, who practices and teaches the 2,000-year-old Sanskrit dance/theatre art form. Director Deepa Nair’s film attempts to capture the stillness and the meditative qualities inherent in this discipline, and invites the audience to become part of an ethnic dancer’s world and gain a new awareness of an art form so ancient and yet barely known to the larger world.
At the Wall of the Sea (Au Mur de la Mer)
Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern, 2020, France, 4m
At the Wall of the Sea is a short dance film that follows the inevitably intertwined rumblings of two humans. Set against the raw landscape of coarse cliffs and green algae–coated boulders on the Atlantic coast of France, the film imagines regret as a frontier borrowed from our own future. The duo stumbles, soaked and soiled, through fading remnants of Hitler’s terrifying Atlantic Wall in Cap Gris-Nez. They pull and tear at one another, crudely easing one another’s falls and helping each other stand once more. Featuring the striking and solemn Astrid Sweeney and Jonas Vandekerckhove, At the Wall of the Sea leaves us with one eye rinsed by sea water, and the other eye full of sand.