Portland Dance Film Fest 2021: Picks 3

Portland Dance Film Fest 2021: Picks 3

Showtimes

portland dance festival picks 3

These films offer engagement around lightness, quarantine, growing up with racism, collective mindset, an argument, a visual poem, a slo-mo body, and the overlap between joy and tragedy.

PDFF Picks 3

Run Time: ~70 mins

The Air Before Me (United States)

Flood (United States)

Historians (Canada)

OSTRA (United States)

Reminiscence of the Present (United Kingdom)

Dear tree, please don't spill on our grave. (Sweden)

The Soft Bit (Germany)

here/say (Sweden)

Proximity (United Kingdom)

Samba #2 (Brazil/United States)

It Cries Too Loudly (United States)

the air before me
PDFF Picks 3

The Air Before Me

United States

Director: Shaun Clarke
Director of Photography: Daniel Jacobs
Choreographer: Helen Pickett
Dancer: John Lam
Composer: Peter Salem

A short dance film that connects ethereal space and light with human agency in a continual affirmation of the present’s power.

Helen Pickett has created over 40 ballets in the U.S. and Europe. “The Crucible,” her new full length for Scottish Ballet, which premiered at Edinburgh International Festival, has won two awards, UK Theatre Critics Award and the Herald Angel Award. Helen won Best Choreographer and Best Dance Production for her full length, “Camino Real,” in 2015.

@shaunclarke2


Flood

United States

Director: Mike Esperanza
Dancers: Mike Esperanza & Leann Alduenda
Music: Mike Esperanza

“FLOOD” is a depiction of time and its build in spacial dynamics. Showing moments of interaction that dwell in surreal forms of suspension.

@mikeesperanza


Historians

Canada

Director: Akil McKenzie
Dancers: Akil McKenzie, Justin Barkie, O’Shani Cardwell, Percy Anane-Dwumfour, Jendayi Dyer,& Kelis Robinson

A young black male shares a spoken word poem about his life growing up with racism, fear, hatred and hope. Surrounded by art, in both print and live form, with dancers embodying his words, and expressing their own experience through hiphop, jazz, locking, crump and contemporary.

@hallowedgroundsnet


OSTRA

United States

Directors: Austen Browne & Zach Enquist
Director of Photography: Austen Browne
Choreographers: Zach Enquist in collaboration with the cast.
Dancers: Katlin Michael Bourgeois, Jade Monet Hooper, Andrea Thompson, Oscar Carrillo, Natalie Liebert, Elliot Hammans, Zach Enquist, Michelle Giordanelli, Adrienne Lipson
Composers: Vincent Glanzmann & Valentin Liechti

The collective mindset of society is a powerful and callous force. By adhering to a social code of conduct, one becomes a bystander in exchange for perceived safety, stripping identity and camouflaging into the many layers of uniformity. If left unnurtured this delicate structure can devolve into a sinister and unjust place.

What happens if we unravel our need to conform and choose empathy in the face of hardship?

Director Zach Enquist is currently a company member with GöteborgsOperans Danskompani.

@keepmoving.productions


Reminiscence of the Present

United Kingdom

Director: Daniel Fazio
Choreographer: Ilyas Kassam
Dancer: Ilyas Kassam
Composer: Sourced from a library

A tribute to the artist Ilyas Kassam, capturing the visceral and meditative process of creation. Known for his large, sculptural works, filmmaker Daniel Fazio is invited to witness Ilyas in the studio environment.

We see Ilyas express his physicality onto the canvas, drawing inspiration from the organic movements typified by Isadora Duncan. Ilyas also recites one of his own poems over the visuals, reinforcing the omniscience of the written word and the importance it has as a figurative symbol in his work.

As he moves in and around the canvas, the camera joins him, filling the negative space. Eventually camera and artist move as one, with the filmic qualities mirroring the artist and his movements. The camera becomes part of the performance, the medium of the interplay between these two visual artists, tangled in a creative embrace.

@LoftFilmsLondon


Dear tree, please don't spill on our grave.

Sweden

Director: Jonne Covers
Director of Photography: Floris Verweij
Choreographer: Jonne Covers, in collaboration with the cast
Dancers: Anna Fransen, Laurens van de Linde, Alkis Barbas, Hellen Boyko, Merel Franx, Aida Guirro Salinas, Julia Heider, Jurgen Hierck, Daan Jaartsveld, Nienke Morren, Tijmen Teunissen, Kim Tuerlings, Fernanda Silva, Noa Simons, Fokko Covers, Juul, Oscar
Composers: Thomas Jaspers, Jort Terwijn
Sound (recording): Luc van Baaren
Sound (design): Sam Huisman
Sound (foley): Suzan van Eck

‘Dear tree, please don’t spill on our grave.’ tells a short story about the history of humankind. In an attempt to make sense of it all, the film origins from a somewhat dry research to ‘how did we get here?’ and ‘what is that ‘here’ anyway?’. Of course this leads to nothing but more questions. So here is a clunky film about adventurous Anna, who lives in a toilet, and who accidentally throws herself a surprise party. 

‘Best Film’ at the Stories We Dance International Competition at the FuoriFormato Festival 2021, and ‘Best Arthouse Film’ at the Stockholm Independent Film Festival. Anna Fransen (the main character) and Floris Verweij collaborated on another dance film: ‘Memories of the Future’, that is screening around the globe and won the second prize in the jury awards for ‘Best Short’ of the BodyScope Film Festival in Russia.

@jonnecovers


The Soft Bit

Germany

Director: Jana Irmert
Director of Photography: Tobias Schütze
Choreographer: Lingji Hon
Dancer: Lingji Hon
Composer: Jana Irmert

Two hands bend up, slowly at first, then sharply, as if directing the ground to lift. Up and down again, up and down. The sky hangs motionless and grey. A fist stretches up in slow motion, all tension centered overhead. Gushes hit the earth, sudden, cut off, they repeat. Like soft wings pushing against the air’s resistance, arms widen and draw circles into the liquid. 

With The Soft Bit, Jana Irmert explores movement, sound and image in a cinematic way. Connecting the internal and the external, the fragmented and the whole, Lingji Hon’s captivating Taiji quan inspired performance forms the gravitational center, pulling the camera towards her. While Jana Irmert’s atmospheric music leads the viewer into an unknown world, cinematographer Tobias Schütze’s imagery is embraced by an experimental montage that plays by its own rules – revealing the interconnectedness of all elements. Jana Irmert has received the German Documentary Film Music Award 2019.

@janairmert


Here/Say

Sweden

Director: Emilie Leriche
Director of Photography: Alana Da Silva
Choreographer: Emilie Leriche
Dancers: Arika Yamada, Riley O’Flynn
Composer: Wolff Bergen

Where we end, will not be where we begin.
Though both will be “here.”
And somewhere between our actions and our words,
lies what we are trying to “say.”

But you have to be here.
You have to hear it, 

And 

-Taking my hand-,
You have to say it.

“Here/say” is a piece that exists -in simple terms- as a conversation between two people; where dialogue melts into movement, movement back into dialogue, and in the end both serve the same purpose of revealing the complexities that lie in communicating with each other.

@eleriche


Proximity

United Kingdom

Director: Roman Sheppard Dawson
Director of Photography: Roman Sheppard Dawson
Choreography: Andrew Dawson
Dancer: Andrew Dawson
Composer: Jonny Pilcher

‘We live by unconsciously measuring the inverse distances of our proximity’
‘Our human essence lies not in arrival but in being almost there, we are creatures who are on the way, our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals. We live by unconsciously measuring the inverse distances of our proximity: an intimacy calibrated by the vulnerability we feel in giving up our sense of separation’. (David Whyte, CLOSE)

Inspired by these words from poet David Whyte, we set out to develop a visual poem, as we searched for what is intrinsic in our relationship with others. Collaborating with my son Roman and composer Jonny Pilcher, the film is for those who are reaching for something more but can’t quite grasp it. For those on their journey, not yet at their destination.

Commissioned by the London International Mime Festival 2020.

@inhalethespace


Samba #2

United States

Directors: Rosane Chamecki and Andrea Lerner (a.k.a chameckilerner)
Director of Photography: Frank Stanley
Choreography: chameckilerner
Dancer: Nao Yamada
Producer: Tanja Meding

In SAMBA #2, chameckilerner dissects the iconic Brazilian cultural manifestation that reveals Brazil’s most profound physicality, the “samba.”

The choreographers work with the cliché of the samba, challenged by the possibilities of subverting it. The frame, tight on the hips, evokes a popular 70’s talent show on Brazilian TV, where, often, the camera zoomed tightly to frame the dancers’ hips, also known as the “chacretes.”

By slowing down the speed, they trust the movement to reveal itself unpredictably. The tension between hips against legs creates a discomforting “dance of the flesh,” demolishing (metaphorically and literally) the materiality of the body, creating an authentic and visceral experience, drastically changing the perception of the familiar “samba.” It is as if our eyes can finally see what our bodies always felt watching the samba: an undomesticated physicality.

All people bring their landscapes into their bodies. SAMBA #2 rescues this landscape.

Samba #2 won the Honorable Prize at the Inshadow Festival, Portugal and at San Francisco Dance Film Festival, SF, 2014.

@chameckilerner


It Cries Too Loudly

Lebanon/United States

Director: Dolly Sfeir
Director of Photography: Pierre Marais
Choreographer: Dolly Sfeir
Dancers: Ian Spring, Omar Roman De Jesus, Annalee Traylor
Producers: Abingdon Theatre Company, Chad Austin, Pierre Marais

Devastated and powerless as she watched the 2020 Beirut explosion and its aftermath from afar, Lebanese American choreographer and director Dolly Sfeir set about creating a work to express her delicate state of mind. It Cries Too Loudly, is a dance film exploring the overlap between joy and tragedy in her tumultuous home country and the experience of being an emigre.

Dolly Sfeir was the 2019 Grand Prize recipient of the Palm Desert Choreography Competition at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Springs, Calif. She received a choreographic fellowship from Jacob’s Pillow in 2019.

@abingdontheatrecompany

Special Admission

$12; AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE.

In-person protocol:

  • Tickets will go on sale one week before the screening so we can more accurately gage the safety of COVID-19 in our community.
  • We hold the right to cancel the screening at any point (with full refund to ticket holders) if we deem it unsafe.
  • Masks are required while inside. Popcorn, food, and drinks can be consumed with momentary mask removal.
  • Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test from a certified professional that was completed within 48hrs of the event is required. At home tests will not be accepted.
  • Name & phone number required for contact tracing.
  • Currently the theater has a 100 person max. Tickets are first come, first served.