This year's films are astonishing. They way each one of them dances with story moves and thrills us. Scroll down to learn about the official selections for our 2023 festival. We are lucky to be screening the following:
Social Fabric: in the public square by Andrea Cote & Ann Robideaux, Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film by John Jota Leaños & Vanessa Sanchez, Undertones by Kat Castro, Cork Journal by Marta Renzi, Is there balm in Gilead? by Luca Tuffarelli & Justine Doswell, Mau: The Spirit Dreams of Cheraw by Shilpika Bordoloi,The Reclamation of My Black Ass Imagination: An Awakening by Reena Dutt & Larry Powell, What's Bred in the Blood and Bone by Robin Gee, Until... by Tanin Torabi, Be Cool by Alexx Shilling & Taso Papadakis, In the Same Boat by Mervi Junkkonen & Mélanie Bokata, Offering by Marlene Millar & Sandy Silva, Gold Sphere by Jade Charon, Château de Sable/Sandcastle by Zoé Grob & Mélanie Bokata, Plenir by Daša Grgič, Devouring Stones Up Close by zap mcconnell & Cat Rider, The Battle for Swan Lake by Joan Carol Gratz, Et Maintenant/Now What? by Cécile ROGUE
Social Fabric: in the public square
Originally created for Guild Hall for a multi-screen immersive event with live music, Social Fabric comments on how we embody personal and communal movement languages, through containment and connection in domestic, public and artificial spheres. During the pandemic, both professional dancers and recreational movers were invited to explore movement inside six-foot square sheets delineated with geometric forms and cosmological patterns. As we occupy this present liminal zone, the artists create a place for visitors to inhabit that is at once intimate and communal.
A collaborative dance installation by Andrea Cote and Ann Robideaux
Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film
“Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film” explores the history of labor in the US–Mexico borderlands through Tap Dance, Mexican Zapateado, Son Jarocho, Afro Caribbean movement, and live music. This work brings together polyrhythmic movement and an original score to look at the (ongoing) years of systemic exploitation of labor while highlighting the power and joy of collective resistance. Based on farmworker interviews in California, this excerpt honors the sacred hands that feed us and was filmed on a farm with support from Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS), a non-profit advocacy organization for farmworkers in Half Moon Bay, CA.
Directed by John Jota Leaños and Vanessa Sanchez, Choreographed by Vanessa Sanchez
Humans are like existential onions. There are many layers to uncover, hence the title name, Undertones. It is a single-channel experimental movement film that focuses on the relationship between the underlying layers of architecture, music & sound, and the movement artists. The film plays with themes of curiosity, tension, connection, and release. Through movement, it explores how personal experiences and emotions are not only affected by other individuals, but also by the elements in the environment that surrounds us. The relationship is cyclical in nature and as the cycle repeats, we gain more awareness within and outside ourselves.
A film by Kat Castro.
Personal and public intersect in the city of Cork, as 3 women, unfazed by chilly weather and friendly passersby, dance on a bridge. Added to the mix are musings in several languages about the how, why and when of art-making itself.
A film by Marta Renzi.
Is there balm in Gilead?
Grief, loss, despair and a collective call for hope and transformation. Created by Justine Doswell and Luca Truffarelli in collaboration with dance artists Salma Ataya, Justine Cooper, Millie Daniel-Dempsey, Oran Leong and Emily Kilkenny Roddy, "Is there balm in Gilead?" is a short dance film set in the west of Ireland that takes inspiration from ethno-cultural myths and writings centred on the raven. Featuring iconic singer-songwriter/poet Leonard Cohen's Dance Me to the End of Love in a new recording sung by Mary Coughlan, one of Ireland’s greatest jazz and blues singers, the film reflects on the paradoxical nature of life and our longing for redemption.
A film by Justine Doswell and Luca Truffarelli.
Mau: The Spirit Dreams of Cheraw
A performance documentary film from Mizoram, through Cheraw (Bamboo dance )and ritual folklore, revealing the forgotten memory of the story of the mother who dies at childbirth. The film shows a re-imagined dance of the mother spirit. Bamboo Dance was performed as a way to pacify the soul of the mother who died in childbirth. Bamboo is part of the geo-political history of Mizoram and the many other states in the North-east of India.Hence the loss of this intergenerational maternal memory is the crisis of culture, the climate of a place.
A film by Shilpika Bordoloi
The Reclamation of My Black Ass Imagination: An Awakening
As a Los Angeleno, growing up in South Central LA, situations are very violent due to systemic issues, red-lining, and white supremacist issues. It all trickles down and affects the Black community. A person has to have their imagination intact in order to survive – in order to see a world where they don't feel like every time they walk out of the house they're in danger. Being queer, you have to have your imagination to dream a world where you feel secure, empowered and where you can walk through the world as yourself. This poetry and dance piece explores these ideas using pandemic-technology to reach an audience that needs to see it.
Directed by Reena Dutt. Written by Larry Powell.
What's Bred in the Blood and Bone
Inspired by the work of Ida Bell Wells, whose writing documented the episodic period of lynching’s in the 1890’s, What’s Bred in the Blood and Bone is a study of space and place, girded by the collective experiences of brown bodies. “Blood” explores “blood memory” as body memory and the ways in which our collective experiences bind and fortify us as African Americans.
A film by Robin Gee.
“We walk. We run. We fall. We hug those who we love and then we run again. We walk together until the walls move.”
A film by Tanin Torabi.
A saying, a possibility, a prayer, a necessity. Also, a dance.
The women within us the women we are the women we dreamt about.
A solo full of other bodies, through time, draped in gold.
A solo made with and for Carol McDowell on her 60th birthday.
Choreographed and conceptualized by Alexx Shilling. Directed by Taso Papadakis.
In the Same Boat
A film about the limits of the ageing body and the boundless mind.
Rauno's story takes us on a boat trip with his father. A journey of misadventures and his father's new Finnish record in cursing.
Directed by Mervi Junkkonen.
OFFERING creates a meaningful and joyful convergence between the Migration Dance Film Project’s body percussion artists and emerging artists from dance (gigue, contemporary, street) and circus arts. The choreography uses the power of procession in Montreal’s urban borough of Little Burgundy to amplify its storyline of (re)imagined homescape in the era of mid-pandemic. The procession formed by movement artists from across communities weaves its way through urban corridors, neighbourhoods, green spaces — an uncoiled assemblage of nomadic storytellers anchored in the intimate knowledge of individual and shared experiences in unison. OFFERING imbues movement in stillness within our city and takes refuge in its powerful migratory patterns traced across our urbanscape.
A film by Marlene Millar and Sandy Silva
What if gold hoop earrings could become a portal to an alternate universe created by Black Girls where they could study, research, and find connection through movement?
A film by Jade Charon Robertson
Château de Sable/Sandcastle
A sandcastle, or the delicate meeting between two elements.
A profond necessity of belonging. The alienating race for entertainments. We push ourselves, using up our ressources, striving for any action even if it means to sink and lose control.
Directed by Zoé Grob, Mélanie Bokata.
Dedicated to grandmothers and grandfathers -
"What is our cultural-historical-folkloric heritage? What part of the legacy is still alive and how important is it to the community?” Plenir is a precious basket with which milkmaids and bakers used to go to Trieste (Italy) to sell agricultural products. The central point for the short dance movie are the exceptional woman from Carsic area in Trieste and from Istria, whose activities helped to survive in the difficult times of the past. They deserve attention, as they are an irreplaceable part of cultural heritage.
A film by Daša Grgič.
Devouring Stones Up Close
A non-linear dance film that serves as a visually poetic abstract expression of personal and shared rage, artistic harvesting, and channeling the spirit of those whose land we walk, create and dance on.
A film by zap mcconnell and Cat Rider
The Battle for Swan Lake
Cats, a dog, and a fish head perform the classic ballet, Swan Lake.
A film by Joan Carol Gratz.
Et Maintenant/Now What?
Julien Meyzindi is a "Sujet" dancer at the Paris Opera. He joined at the age of 12. Today, he is 42 years old and must leave, that's the way it is, that's the rule. Halfway between documentary and dance fiction, What Next? is both a look at the 30 years he has spent at the Opera and Julien's choreographic creation to imagine his future. Julien is the bearer of this story.
A film by Cécile Rogue.