Join Essence of Embodiment for
Our Film Premieres
March 18th - 21st, 2021
SMUSH Gallery presents the Essence of Embodiment Festival as part of the Curatorial Fellowship in Dance '20-'21. All of our film premieres will be offered through Vimeo, as an on-demand service. Upon registration you'll receive a password for each film day release. You'll be able to watch our films as many times as you like from registration to the end of the last of the festival, March 21st, 2021.
Our all-access passes provide full access to all of our films for the duration of our four-day programming, as well as all of our movement workshops--pending registration. Our films will be private and will require a password in order to gain access.
For more information on how to register for our movement workshops, talkback discussions, and film premieres, visit our Festival page.
Day One - 3/18/21 - Thu
Welcome to Essence of Embodiment's 2021 Film Program! Below you'll find the opening day's full line-up. Register with the All-Access or Single Film Day Passes forms above. You'll have access to the films from registration until the end of the festival on Sunday, March 21st, 2021. Once you register, you'll receive an email with a password. Be sure to check your spam.
The Body Beautiful | Ngozi Onwurah | UK | 1991 | 23 min
The story of a white mother who undergoes a radical mastectomy and her relationship with her Black daughter who begins a modeling career.
NUDITY WARNING: This may trigger emotional mental trauma.
This bold, stunning exploration of a white mother who undergoes a radical mastectomy and her Black daughter who embarks on a modeling career reveals the profound effects of body image and the strain of racial and sexual identity on their charged, intensely loving bond. At the heart of Onwurah’s brave excursion into her mother’s scorned sexuality is a provocative interweaving of memory and fantasy. The filmmaker plumbs the depths of maternal strength and daughterly devotion in an unforgettable tribute starring her real-life mother, Madge Onwurah
Written and Directed by: Ngozi Onwurah
Executive Producers: Ben Gibson and Kate Ogborn
Produced by: Simon Onwurah and Lin Solomon
Music by: Jonathan Hirst and Anthony Quigley
Cinematography by: Peter Collis
Film Editing by: Liz Webber
Production Manager: Sarah Carr
Assistant Director: Kanayo Onwurah
Sound Recordist: Richard Gray
Boom Operator: Mags Scholes
Film Provided by: Women Make Movies
This is me eating_ | Et Alia Theatre | US, IT, BR | 2020 |13 min
'This is Me Eating ____' is a project series sprung from an idea by Giorgia Valenti (Co-Artistic Director), and brought to life thanks to elaborate and inspiring conversations with the Company.
The goal of the project is to make space for anyone (that's right, ANYONE) to express their relationship to their eating and their body.
And the sky is the limit! This can be done in any shape or form, any style and any medium (film, dance, documentary, monologue, poetry etc.); it can be shared, or it can just be an incentive for some personal thinking.
No, it does not have to be 'artsy' - it just has to be you.
Fill in the blank of the title with what you wish to explore, create your own version of the project and, well, you may discover that you are not alone.
Directors: Giorgia Valenti and Pranav Kothary
Edited by Pranav Kothary
Main Cast: Et Alia Theatre: Victoria Brusco
Bruna da Matta
Isabella Gómez Giron
TAL | Tal Motion | Israel | 2020 | 45 min
Tal is a one woman dance-theatre performance on the subject of bulimia disorder, where she physically describes the mental impact of our life circumstances on us and how to shed the voices and the disease off us.
A brave show that exposes the soul and can inspire many people, it allows us to better understand our responsibilities as parents and as human beings.
The performance is based on Tal Levy Cohen's personal process as a girl-woman-dancer dealing with the eating disorder bulimia, which she recovered from.
The performance leaves viewers with personal and universal insights to the meaning of discourse between us and the importance of our understanding of ourselves and the way the body and mind operate.
Writing, Directing, Choreography and Performance:
Tal Levy Cohen
Consulting, Rehearsal & Stage management:
Bat-Chen Harvardi Vakshi
Osnat Shnek Yosef
Amir Orian, Sara Vino Elad, Avi Greinik
Raz Olsher, Zej - Yuval Wetzler & Raz Olsher, Nadav Wetzler
Tal Levy Cohen, Yuval Hamami
Lighting design and operation:
Photography & Editing:
Yotam Monk, Eli Ma'ayani
The performance was filmed at the Fresco House for Dance and Culture
The new central bus station in Tel Aviv, Israel
Healing Currently Downloading | Body Stories:
Teresa Fellion Dance | US | 2020 | 8 min
Healing Currently Downloading acts as a sequel to a previous work reeling -> healing created in 2019. While reeling sought to capture the frustration of today’s world and the present societal tumult, Healing Currently Downloading explores outlets for processing these emotions through purposeful motion and action. The emotional qualities of the work are enhanced by dramatic shifts in attitude and form as well as artful video editing. Though viewers may question whether the film’s open-ended conclusion permits a complete resolution to the frustration, this work demonstrates an ongoing process of healing through embodied movement. Original music by John Yannelli contributes to the film’s sense of urgency and call for community--working in tandem with the choreography to immerse viewers in a fully formed, tumultuous, but, in the end, hopeful world.
Directed and Produced by Teresa Fellion
Cast: Xenia Mansour, Serena Chang, Nicole Kader, Kate Bishop
Edited by: Emma Iredale
Composed by: John Yannelli
Time Capsule: A Physical Documentary | Valerie Green/Dance Entropy | US | 2021 | 41 min
“Time Capsule – A Physical Documentary” is a dance film, directed and choreographed by Valerie Green, in collaboration with cinematographer/editor Alex Lopez, composer Mark Katsaounis, and the dancers of Valerie Green/Dance Entropy. Eight solos physically trace emotional experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, woven together with a score of vocal reflections and incidental sound from the diverse sampling of New York City landscapes in which each dancer was filmed. A dynamic interplay of beauty, strength, and resilience, "Time Capsule” is a testament to the faith we have in our City, its vast infrastructure, the delicate spirits that inhabit it, and the tender terrains we all hold within.
“Time Capsule” is a dance film, directed and choreographed by Valerie Green, in collaboration with cinematographer/editor Alex Lopez, composer Mark Katsaounis, and the dancers of Valerie Green/Dance Entropy.
Comprised of eight solos, movement was abstractly generated, remotely and in person, in one-on-one sessions between Green and the dancers, who were prompted to journal on the emotional trajectory of their experience of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Green choreographed in conversation with each dancer to uncover and initiate from where in the body their emotions found resonance. Performing required another round of translation, in which Green and the dancers morphed the solos to fit specifically scouted environments.
The musical score is a tapestry of sounds that were recorded during the filming of each solo, as well as the dancers’ own vocal reflections. Some of these sounds are easy to identify while others have been processed and transformed to create new tones, generating the foundation upon which other acoustic and electronic instruments have been layered in.
The sound and movement are draped amidst a diverse sampling of New York City landscapes which include: Pier 66, a cement factory, Astoria Park, Dutch Kills Play Ground, The Trusty Pick Up at Culture Lab, Greenwood Cemetery, Fire Island, and the rooftop of the Scalamandre Silks Building, which contains Dance Entropy's home base, Green Space.
Between the vulnerability and empathy required to generate the material, and the rigor of spatially adapting it, “Home” demonstrates a dynamic interplay of beauty, strength, and resilience - a testament to the faith we have in our City, its vast infrastructure, the delicate spirits that inhabit it, and the tender terrains we all hold within.
Directed, Written, Choreographed by Valerie Green
Produced by Dance Entropy, Inc
Performed by Erin Giordano, Jonathan Matthews, Valerie Green, Hana Ginsburg Tirosh, Kristin Licata, Fumihiro Kukichi, Richard Scandola, and Emily Aiken
Videographer/Editor Alex Lopez
Composed by Mark Katsaounis
The Rhythm of Healing | Imani Cook-Gist | US & RW | 2015 | 7 min
Dancer Imani Cook-Gist shares the healing power of music and dance in Rwanda, a country devastated by a 1994 genocide in which one million people were slaughtered in 100 days. Traditional dancers, music students and the country’s most famous Gospel singer share their experience.
NOTE: PHOTO SENSITVITY WARNING The beginning of this video contains flashes of light that could trigger seizures for people with visual sensitivities.
This teen-produced documentary resulted from an Investigative Journalism Adventure to Rwanda, a program of Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, California and Friendship Tours World Travel, and led by artist/educator Cheri Gaulke, Emmy Award-winning journalist/producer Jeff MacIntyre (Content Media Group), and history teacher Alethea Paradis. To see other films about Rwanda and Laos visit digitalstoryadventures.com.
Ballet After Dark | Ballet After Dark & B. Monet | US | 2017 | 17 min
Ballet After Dark tells the story a young woman who found the strength to survive after an assault using dance as a way path to healing.
Tyde-Courtney Edwards created an organization that is helping sexual abuse and domestic violent survivors find healing after trauma through dance therapy.
Day Two - 3/19/21 - Fri
Welcome to Essence of Embodiment's 2021 Film Program! Below you'll find the our second day full selection of films. Register with the All-Access or Single Film Day Passes forms above. You'll have access to the films from registration until the end of the festival on Sunday, March 21st, 2021. Once you register, you'll receive an email with a password. Be sure to check your spam.
Fire in the Mountain | DANCE MONKS | Mexico | 2020 | 9 min
I'm Another Yourself | Marianna Koytsan | US | 2020 | 2 min
We meet people for a reason. They reflect sometimes in us something that we have to face, learn, let it go, grow from or appreciate---by recoginsing our patterns we can heal.
Directed by: Marianna Koytsan and Alexandre Beaslay
Performed by: Marianna Koytsan and Mayu Shirai
...to be continued | Margaret Wiss | US | 2020 | 38 min
254 days…to be continued, is a visual meditation, a continuum
A work-in-process begun March 21, 2020, the movement sequences confront the constants and variables of place and time in film and photo excerpts. Wiss’s solitary figure slowly and reverently communing with the ever-changing landscape is complimented by the spare and evocative piano composition of Mike Brun. The repeated ritual, sensual as it is restrained, solitary as it is connected, is a panorama of resilience and hope.
Dance // Margaret Wiss
Music // Mike Brun
器官嬉戲 Organ Play | 江峰 Jiang Feng | US | 2019 | 7 min
What are sex and the sexual/sensual body?
Or...? | Jas Lin | Turtle Island | 2020 | 13 min
“or?” is a spontaneous encounter, an improvised dance– between dancer, musician, witness, and vicarious witness.
Floodstream | Erin McNulty | US | 2020 | 11 min
Exploring the toxicity of giving and taking beyond the limits of equilibrium, and the weighted aftermath of energy loss, "Floodstream" paints a haunting portrait of an imbalanced relationship that evokes the unfolding environmental crisis and the potential for recovery from any parasitic partnership.
This work started as a conversation around parasites, the things or relationships that drain you even as you house or love them: what you give them, what they take away from you, and what's left at the end.
We noticed the specific weighted language and sensations around our parasites entering and leaving us (feeling 'weighed down', with a 'heavy heart'; or feeling untethered and floating, empty or deadweight). And we also researched the laws around systems - that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transformed. If parts of us and our energy stream away, what do they become and can they be regained into our systems to create balance once again?
Putting all these conversations in our bodies guided our initial explorations, and we built the dual worlds of the film from there, with each dancer navigating the aftermath of having given or taken on too much in body and soul. One in a desolate, empty underworld; the other in a landscape with the natural energetic elements of running water, erosion, decay and life as the backdrop for her physical journey.
Directed and Performed by Erin McNulty and Suzannah Dessau
Original Music by Josh Knowles, Sound Engineering by Alex Glover, Cinematography and Editing by Christopher Di Nunzio, Underwater Cinematography by Chris Johnson
The Body Keeps the Score | Audrey Thao Berger | UK | 2019 | 9 min
It explores how the memory of trauma is encoded in the viscera
This piece is named after, and inspired by the book 'The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma' by Bessel Van Der Kolk. The trio was choreographed by Audrey Thao Berger in collaboration with composer Alex Mills.
Choreographed by Audrey Thao Berger
Composed by Alexander Mills
Performed by Margherita Giuliodori, James Healy, Lauren Jenkins
Musician (Viola) Anna Semple
Day Three - 3/20/21 - Sat
Welcome to Essence of Embodiment's 2021 Film Program! Below you'll find the third day's full selection. Register with the All-Access or Single Film Day Passes forms above. You'll have access to the films from registration until the end of the festival on Sunday, March 21st, 2021. Once you register, you'll receive an email with a password. Be sure to check your spam.
AndShe | Sophie Zimmer | US | 2016 | 6 min
Throughout the improvisational piece AndShe, five bodies explore the complex notions of their feminine identities through an oversaturated compilation of movement, language, and physical confrontation.
This film project – inspired by a poem written by Olivia Bowers – confronts concepts of potentiality, consent, penetration, repetition, and happening. AndShe is an intricate examination of how female corporeality is observed, consumed, and ultimately (mis)understood. The movement and performance of AndShe establishes images as a form of corporeal trace, and this quality of reference and referral presents the transitional movement of becoming. The movement is not presented in a typically masculine, linear expression, but rather as a continual happening, expanding outwards through multiple trajectories. This implication forces the viewer to be confronted with the continuous, cyclical, semiotic performance of the feminine body.
AndShe – Collaborative Effort Production: Sophie Zimmer Dancers (in order of appearance): - Kirsten Jensen - Sophie Zimmer - Carolina Beachwood - Victoria Daylor - Olivia Bowers
Poem & Spoken Word: Olivia Bowers
Film and Editing: Joe Bray
Sound: Jason Hahs
Out of the Folds of Women | Anabella Lenzu | US | 2020 | 5 min
"Out of the Folds of Women" tells a personal vision of femininity, and what it means to be a woman, mother, and immigrant today.
With direction and choreography by Anabella Lenzu and videography and music by Todd Carroll. “Unfolded out of the folds of the woman Man comes unfolded, And is always to come unfolded" -Walt Whitman
Beauty Ritual | Jas Lin | Turtle Island | 2021 | 5 min
this beauty ritual which will leave your skin feeling exfoliated and radiant
Re-membering your body
How is your body in this moment?
How was your body in the past?
How will your body be in the future?
Softening / Shedding / Slipping through your armor of scales
Where does Spirit live in your body?
How many living incarnations of you have you had to sacrifice?
Forget the fictions that kept you in denial of your own power
Cut the umbilical cord that binds you to one-dimensional myths
Come home to your fluid, feral body
Imagine yourself losing shape
Imagine you can self-author your constant becoming
Imagine you are blessed with power and good fortune
Imagine the joy and liberation of future generations
Imagine the joy and liberation of this present moment
Imagine what can emerge from these shared sacred wounds
Produced and Directed by Jas Lin and Phillip Shum
XwhY | Karley Wasaff | US | 2021 | 9 min
"My goal as an artist is to ‘do something,’ to create an immersive experience that the audience can empathize with through relatability of a heightened emotion. By ‘doing something’ to myself, I ‘do something’ to the others through manipulation of empathy to create multiplicity of experiences to complicate meaning. This is more than just movement because the personal physical risk involved relates to provocative thoughts that sparks conversation, leaving traces through discussion, and ignites new thought around personal experience versus communal experience—shifting the work into the political."
Premiered at Christie's New York, XwhY is a compositional improv score that explores the restrictions and tension that gender markers place on a person. X marks the spot—from floor patterns, to movement, to marking the body with red lipstick—to enunciate the hardships of a nonbinary identity constantly gendered as female. Yearning for queer futurity, symbolized by smudging, this metamorphosis desires to be lost and found simultaneously. This hypnotic statement merges the personal and political through utilizing memories as movement scores. The memories emote physical distress and exhaustion that signify the paradox between being associated and assimilated as a woman to the nonbinary self who is more than simply both, neither or in between—XwhY. This work pushes the boundaries of dance through merging the personal with the political. This merge pushes the performance to shift into a state of being that teeters with personal risk, fully shape shifting into the experience. This is not a performance in the sense of, it is not acting. This experiential performance places the performer/creator into a state of mind that pulls from memories that physically shift the body into re-experience, emoted by placing my body into physical risk. This re-experience emotes a raw tone that expands beyond the personal self to others through empathy.
Directed, Produced, Choreographed, and Performed by Karley Wasaff
Edited by Karley Wasaff and Roman Dubchak
Composed by Taylor Marie and Karley Wasaff
Cinematography by Roman Dubchak
Storyboard Artist: Ian Sullivan
Interstice | Paul Scott Bullen | UK | 2020 | 5 min
Interstice is an autobiographical embodiment of my experience of homophobic resistance. Through movement, sound and spoken word I explore memory and reflect through retrospect regarding shifts in an ever changing political landscape.
Interstice film project specifically relates to the theme of the festival by addressing my personal trauma experienced as a young person growing up in a small town where I experienced fierce Homophobia. As I grew into adulthood I began to form my own arts practice through which I process my autobiographical trauma and find deep healing experiences. As a queer LGBTQI+ artist I hold my practice close to my heart and I strive to make work that reaches out to others.
Performance, Choreography & Concept by Paul Scott Bullen
Technical Director: Caitlin Rigney
Score by Gav Hoare
Additional Sources / Recording by Charlotte Barber
Camera Operators: Chantelle Smith, Kiernan Dughan, Jack O'Connell
Sound: Ben Howell
Monochrome Edit: Anthony Briggs
Alt-Sex 異．性 | 江峰 Jiang Feng | Taiwan | 2020 | 15 min
“Alt-Sex 異．性” is a performance work created out of the somatic practice “Sex and Love” that I am currently building.
“Sex and Love” is intended to help people rethink sex and elicit sexual/erotic energy, sensual attention, and love affects through movements and body awareness. Following the thinker Georges Bataille’s work Erotism, I see the erotic as a source of connectivity. The practice and the performance work explore the deconstruction of the narrow idea of sex, codified bodies, and repertoires of sex. Sex is not a performance of prowess or position-changing but a dialogue and a way of living and experiencing. Furthermore, they aim to reactivate the body as agentic and integrated being/becoming in (non-)traditional sexual scenes.
Directed, Produced, and Performed by 江峰 Jiang Feng
Three Stages of Having to Prove Your Humanity | Azaria Hogans | US | 2020 | 10 min
Fear, reclaiming space, and mourning can be cyclical patterns of having to prove one’s humanity to a world that believes one is less than equal.
In this dance film, Three Stages of Having to Prove Your Humanity, the stages of proving oneself are revealed, unveiling themselves like abstract chapters. Stage one is likened to being hunted¬ –defenseless and having to constantly prove your innocence. This stage is often riddled with signs and mechanisms to offer warning and caution like a safety vest of code-switching. Stage two, is a reclaiming of space and time, delving deep into the notion of “this is me, take it or leave it.” Here, home, safety, and expression are cultivated. Stage three is the stage of mourning that cannot be escaped if one has found themselves in this cycle to begin with.
Director and Editor: Azaria Hogans
Videographer: Reyna Mondragon
Dancers: Josephine Arsenio, Victoria Escalante, Michelle Smith, Tynerea Taylor, Holly Whitfield
Choreography by Azaria Hogans & Dancers
Rehearsal Director: Reyna Mondragon
Costume Assistant: Amiti Perry
Music: War Machines by Michael Wall, Just Take it by Isabel Crespo Pardo, Sometimes I can't find you by Isabel Crespo Pardo, Track 8 by David Dingess
Commissioned by University of Northern Texas Department of Theatre and Dance
In loving memory of those who have lost their lives due to discrimination
The Process of Dying | Nada Rosa | US | 2021 | 2 min
Musical Film Collaboration influenced by Nature and Movement
My intention for the process of dying was to create a rich visual poem in collaboration with filmmaker Jane Urban, using 16mm film and different landscapes that spoke to us. Combining abstract forms, movement, dance, and nature, my vision was to embody the landscape through dance.
directed and edited by nada rosa
cinematography and coloring:
jane urban (@jmurbn)
hair and makeup/production assistant:
mix and master: frank renard (@iamfrankrenard)
Day Four - 3/21/21 - Sun
Welcome to Essence of Embodiment's 2021 Film Program! Below you'll find the closing day's full line-up. Register with the All-Access or Single Film Day Passes forms above. You'll have access to the films from registration until the end of the festival on Sunday, March 21st, 2021. Once you register, you'll receive an email with a password. Be sure to check your spam.
Jonah | Helix | United States | 2018 | 5 min
The juxtaposition of past and present raises questions about inherited trauma and the possibility of regeneration.
JONAH - an interview with a former African American slave accompanies a powerful dance vignette of an urban man in extremis.
Directed by Andrew Michael Ellis
Performed by Ernest Felton Baker
Cinematography by Andrew Michael Ellis and Ben Stamper
Edited by Ben Stamper
Additional Cinematography by Sasha Aryutunova
Special Thanks to Jonathan Seale
Laundry Day | Olamma Oparah | US | 2020 | 5 min
Dedicated to Toni Morrison, Laundry Day was directed by Olamma Oparah and written by herself and Cinematographer Colbie Fray who conceptualized the project around Poet, Victoria P. Allen’s poem, “Mother’s Stain”.
The film focuses on generational gaps between mother and daughter and how the erasure of recent Black history, generational discord, millennial dissonance, and the ability to recognize(or not) the “charge to keep” of generations passed can serve as a silencing force within relationships that are Black and female.
Dope Artistic Forces Films & Sall/Walker Productions
Director and Writer: Olamma Oparah
Writer: Colbie Fray
Poem by Victoria P. Allen
Producer: Maia Miller
Cinematographer and Editor: Colbie Fray
Colorist: Abby NcNicoll
Narration by Olamma Oparah
"Grandma" - Gail Everett-Smith
“Daughter” - Victoria Allen
"Mother" - Shanti Om
Slice of Life | Chien-Ying Wang | US | 2016 | 9 minutes
"As an artist and dance scholar, I am passionate about interdisciplinary discourse. My research aims to bring Chinese perspectives of dance, religion, philosophy, history and psychology together. The research focuses on the spiritual relationship between mortals and gods, presented as a dance film documenting visual images and aural tones in various Chinese temples. Like Western churches, Chinese temples are places where people go to seek solace, find hope, peace and comfort, and increase faith when they are in a state of vulnerability. Through various ritualistic gestures such as kneeling, lighting of incense and candles, burning paper money, and offering foods for the gods, the faithful believe that the gods will hear their prayers. The existence of temple serves a vital role in Chinese society; it is the structure that aspires to bring mortals close to the realm of gods."
Slice of Life explores the spirituality of everyday activities as well as the sanctity of human gestures in worship. The dance film investigates the juxtaposition of pedestrian movements as theatrical dance and choreographed dance as ordinary daily movements.
Director and Producer: Chien-Ying Wang
Yi Ying Zhao
Yi Chi Xu
Choreographer: Chien-Ying Wang
Still Photographer and Camera Work: Paul C. Ocampo
Editor and Camera Work: Chien-Ying Wang
Production Coordinator: Paul C. Ocampo
Bear(v.) | DualRivet | United States | 2020 |27 minutes
Dual Rivet is a women-led dance company focused on creating and sharing highly physical contemporary dance to a wide audience. Based in NYC, Dual Rivet creates work for stage and film that exchanges a cinematic and visceral language to influence both platforms.
Dual Rivet presents "bear (v.)", a dance film exploring experiences and memories buried within each of us. The piece follows an individual and their ability to accept and confront these challenges.
Directors: Jessica Smith & Chelsea Ainsworth
Choreographers: Jessica Smith & Chelsea Ainsworth
Editor: Jessica Smith
Colorist: Ben Federman
Musical Composer/Editor: Jessica Smith
Director of Photography: Nicole Davis
TILT DROP ROLL | Nicko Straniero | Italy | 2020 | 7 min
This video art / performance is freely inspired by the novel “The box man” (1973) by Kōbō Abe, where a nameless protagonist gives up his identity and the trappings of a normal life to live and wander the streets of Tokyo in a large cardboard box he wears over his head and which allows him to explore a tenuous reality from a different, dangerous perspective, in a world where other people secretly desire the same chance to estrange themselves from an already alienating society. The novel is an indirect critique on the uniformity of Japanese society and its more and more unrealistic trophies and demands.
In this collaborative performance we mix a sense of comedy and the surreal in a sequence of actions which contrast the instructions printed outside the boxes in order to protect the products they originally contained. What looks like an initial harmless game between childish adults, slowly degenerates into chaos and violence. Our bodies concealed in boxes which give us a false sense of protection, become living sculptures, but also a prison which restraint and alter our movements and senses. Their presence in an ordinary urban landscape is brutal and menacing yet rich of visual poetry while our identities are ambiguously transformed in the process as a reminder that, just like Kōbō Abe states, “Without humour it is not possible to sustain reality” and that “…a box, far from being a dead end, is an entrance into another world.”
The filming took place in a vast terrace of the Hotel Mistral2 in Oristano, Italy during an art residency.
Filmed and edited by Simone Cireddu
Performed by Nicko Straniero and Michele Pau
AFTER DARK | Laura Sánchez | United States | 2020 | 6 min
An expressive art short- film to inspire HOPE! A quote from Auguste Rodin “Art is the pleasure of a spirit that enters nature and discovers that it too has a soul”, became an important source of inspiration since it reminded me how the transformation of a soul can happens when one is allowed to be moved by the soul of nature. The elements of nature were intentionally chosen to bring awareness about climate change and the importance of listening to the unique rhythms of nature.
Diretced, Produced, Written, and Performed by Laura Sánchez-Garcia
Co- Director: Belén Maya
Ballet Class | Viola He | US | 2018 | 3 min
"Ballet Class" is a Super 8 film examining my shame in identifying as a (not) dancer.
The notion of a dancer includes many traits I don't embody: training, disciplines, techniques, strength, body. As someone who's more than a hobbyist but lacks classical training, How should I look at my relationship with dance and my dancing body? In this film, I documented my first time experience in a ballet classes as an untrained beginner, while narrating my own dance journey. It was shot on 2 rolls of super 8 film (200 T) and a small segment of 16mm film.
Directed and Performed by Viola He
Jas Lin, Jason Vu, Kyoto Takenaka
jas lin (they/them) is a performance artist, filmmaker, and movement facilitator committed to the life-long process of un-learning and un-teaching oppressive, Othering, and superficial ways of moving, being, sensing, and knowing. lin stages exorcisms for purging choreographies of the learned body and shutting down internal and external surveillance cameras that suggest there is a Proper way to move through the world. lin’s choreographies, films, and workshops have been shared around the world, including at REDCAT Theater, Power Station of Art Shanghai, and IA&A at Hillyer.
jason vu, kyoko takenaka, and jas lin are non-binary asian/american movement artists. this video captured an "in-between" moment lounging in the living room during their retreat in lake tahoe, california.
Screening "Or...?" and "Beauty Ritual" as part of our film programming
Teaching "Morning Exorcise: Dancing Ecologies" on Sat 3/20 at 3:15 PM ET
"Stage World encounter with Therapy & Spirituality World"
Stage Artist - Creator & performer & Dance & movement Therapist.
Teaches stage artists & women the way to an authentic performance & authentic personal expression.
MA - Expressive arts Therapies, Leslie University Boston.
Professional Diploma in Dance Studies, Laban Center, where she received the The Mary Zemke Fund award, as an appreciation for creating a positive student experience for the students.
Graduated acting studies - Method Studio & The City Lit, London.
Teaching "Psycho Spiritual Movement" on Thu 3/18 at 9 AM ET
Screening "TAL" as part of our film programming.
Valerie Green has been an active dancer, choreographer and teacher in the New York City dance community since 1995. She created her own company, Dance Entropy in 1998, adding a permanent company home in 2005 called Green Space. Green Space serves the dance community by providing an affordable and welcoming environment for rehearsals, classes, and performances. Her choreography has been seen throughout NYC and has also toured to various venues throughout the US. Internationally she has taught and performed in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Austria, France, Italy, Greece, Poland, Russia, India, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Sweden Guatemala, Cuba and Canada. Valerie’s choreographic work and teaching style is influenced by her formative years working with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, her certification in Body/Mind Fitness, Somatic Phycology and her undergraduate work at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Screening "Time Capsule: A Physical Documentary" as part of our film programming
& Et Alia Theatre
Giorgia Valenti is an Italian actor, dancer, singer and writer based in New York. She graduated New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with Honors in Drama, and a minor in Dance. She is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Et Alia, a women led theater company based in NYC.
Et Alia Theater is a NYC based company founded and led by international women. Et Alia is Latin for ‘And Other’: we create art for the other, by the other, and about the other. We strive to foster an accepting community that provides a safe space where people can take risks, push themselves outside of their comfort zones and collide with an array of international voices which may be culturally unfamiliar.
Imani Cook-Gist created The Rhythm of Healing during her senior year at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, California. In January 2014, she accompanied 14 students from her school on an Investigative Journalism Adventure to Rwanda to learn about the 1994 genocide. Imani is a dancer and in this, her first film, she explored the role of dance and music in Rwanda's healing process after a genocide in which one million people were slaughtered in 100 days. The film was edited by Danielle Stolz whose documentary Wings of Peace was a result of An Investigative Journalism Adventure to Laos and has screened in numerous film festivals.
Screening the "The Rhythm of Healing" as part of our film programming.
Margaret Wiss is a choreographer, educator, and performer. Her creative practice embraces many disciplines. She has been commissioned by PDX Contemporary Ballet, North Atlantic Dance Theatre, and The Five College Dance Department. She has her MFA in Dance with a concentration in choreography from NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts.
Screening "...to be continued" as part of our film programming.
江峰 Jiang Feng
Audrey Thao - Berger
Choreographer, Dance Artist, and Movement-based Teaching Artist
Ontario-Based Brewer and Former Dancer
江峰 Jiang Feng is an agender multidisciplinary artist with an M.F.A. in Performance & Performance Studies from Pratt. They received fellowship and grants from the Taiwan government and presented works in Asia, America, and Europe. They performed in the MoMA retrospective of Bruce Nauman.
Audrey Thao Berger is a choreographer, dance artist, and movement based teaching artist. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she started her formal training in dance at ODC and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. To delve deeper into choreography Audrey accepted a place in the London Contemporary Dance School’s Bachelor’s program (’20.)
Post graduation, Audrey aims for all that she has learned through her dance education abroad to inform her choreography, dance pedagogy, and art administration pursuits back in the United States. She hopes to continue learning about the impacts dance education has on self image, and to actively take initiative in evoking change within the education system in order for dance education to create positive, nurturing spaces that celebrate the individual and are accessible to all.
Audrey is currently expanding her experience in arts administration while working with The Brooklyn Arts Exchange and BEAT Global. She is also a teaching artist mentee for Together in Dance, a New York based non profit that provides meaningful arts experiences and education to youth and older adults. Independently, Audrey is continuing her choreography practice through making dance films and exploring the possibilities of dance and movement’s role within digital culture.
Sophie Zimmer began her dance training in Halifax, Nova Scotia, through the Intensive Training Program at a local studio, Halifax Dance. Sophie trained through various summer intensives including Walnut Hill School for the Arts, where she continued to study and eventually graduated high school with high honors in May 2013. Sophie began her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Boston Conservatory the following semester, and while training at the Conservatory had the opportunity to work with choreographers Zoe Scofield, Brian Brooks, and founding company member Joanie Smith of Shapiro and Smith. With an emphasis in modern dance performance and creative composition, Sophie graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from the Boston Conservatory in 2017. Shortly after graduation, Sophie made the complicated decision to withdraw from the world of professional dance due to a series of chronic injuries. Since then, Sophie has trialed various paths: from beginning her M.A. in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, to deciding to withdraw and return to Nova Scotia where opportunities for meaningful work and community-building felt more secure. Most recently she is pursuing further post-secondary education in the field of brewing and is currently enrolled in the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program in Niagara, ON. Sophie hopes to find further intersections in her past and present learning, and now with pottery, weaving, and enough plants to operate a small greenhouse, Sophie has found more rejuvenating practices for her creative expression and is excited for what’s to come.
Marianna Koytsan, Mayu Shirai, and Alexandre Beaslay
Marianna Koytsan began her dance studies in Ballet at the age of 4 and continued to perform with various folk dance companies until the age of 10.
In 2012, MariAnna moved to New York City to continue her pursuit of dance.
Her current performance venues include City Center, Barnard College and PeriDance Capezio Center, LaGuardia Performing Art Center, The Davenport Theatre, Gramercy Theatre, Tisch Performing Art Center 92Y to name a few. Marianna is a member of Crazy-Natives is a House/Freestyle dance crew based out of New York City. Founded by James “Cricket” Colter.
Aside from dance passion Marianna has another interests in holistic health including nutrition, fitness, meridian yoga and acupressure. Also photography and writing.
NY-Based movement artist & educator
Paul Scott Bullen
UK-Based Performance Specialist and Choreographer
Karley Wasaff is an emerging movement artist with an urgent emphasis on queer temporalities and Womynist theology. Karley’s current independent choreographic endeavors aims for multiplicity to have a voice, to stand up, and to shape change. They confront complexities of socially imposed identity framing access, perceptions, and critical analysis in their newest works: ‘XwhY,’ originally performed at Christie’s NYC, and ‘here nor there,’ originally performed at Hollins University. Karley’s choreographic explorations aim to invite the audience to confront their art through a contestational lens: complicating a multiplicity of meaning based on personal experiences. With a background as a certified yoga instructor elite personal trainer, Karley incorporates yoga theory and foundational training into dance and choreography practices to explore embodiment and awareness. Karley strives to create an environment of kindness and respect to curate explorations of empowerment, creative voice, and human potential in and out of dance spaces. Previously to pursuing their Master of Fine Arts in Dance at Hollins University, Karley received their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi.
As a queer choreographer and performer I make autobiographical solo work which falls under the grouping of ‘performance art’.
These solos are live performances or films and are multidisciplinary in nature. My interests lie within gender, eroticism, behavioural tendencies, life and death from a queer point of view.
Choreographer, Dancer, Artist Scholar, and Educator
Atlanta-based writer and director
Azaria Hogans is a freelance dancer, choreographer, artist scholar, and educator. She holds a M.F.A. in dance from Texas Woman’s University where she expanded her research on black modern dance. Azaria received her B.A. in Spanish with minors in both dance and creative arts therapy (dance) at Georgia College. Azaria serves as the Manager of Resources and Archives for kNOwBOX dance. Currently, Azaria is an assistant professor at Missouri State University and covers an array of classes including contemporary, jazz, contact improvisation, dance history, composition, and West African dance forms. She has presented and performed works both nationally and internationally including Symposium on Performance of the African Diaspora as Social Change Conference, American College Dance Association (South-Central, South-East, and Central) conferences, World Dance Alliance Puebla, Mexico, Women in Dance Leadership Conference, UNT’s Gospel Meets Jazz, Sant’Agata Central Plaza, Sant’Agata, Italy, to name a few. In her passion for education, she has brought the art of dance to local schools including Putnam High school in Putnam, Georgia and Lee Elementary School in Denton, Texas through community outreach programs and residencies. Azaria has published articles in the Dance Education in Practice (DEip) journal, the Journal of Dance Education (JODE), Dance Teacher Magazine, and Dance Magazine.
The Atlanta based writer and director’s choice of cinema lies in its ability to convey the inner reachings of the soul. Her use of sound and visual associations represent the universal knowledge expressed through the African diasporal experience, deconstructing mainstream media’s representation of Black women, men and children. Themes in her work often pose the questions, “How does one heal from genetically ingrained PTSD?” or, “How do women exact internal change if rage is impolite, unaccepted, or ignored?”
Chien-Ying Wang, a choreographer, dancer and film maker, hails from Taiwan and is Co-Artistic Director of OcampoWang Dance. She received her MFA degree in Dance from The Ohio State University. Wang was a soloist with Repertory Dance Theatre in Utah from 2002-2007. Before coming to the United States, she has danced professionally with Taipei Ballet Company and Joy Dance Company. In 2006, she was a recipient of the Project Support Grant from Salt Lake City Arts Council to present Bridging Bridges – an evening-length dance concert. Her performing experience includes solo roles in several ballets, plus contemporary works by Zvi Gotheiner, Gideon Obarzanek, Susan Hadley, Shapiro & Smith, Tandy Beal, Stephen Koester, Lucas Hoving, Molissa Fenley, Douglas Nielsen, Victoria Uris, John Giffin, to name a few. Her choreographic works has been presented in Lustig Dance Theatre, RDT, The Ohio State University, National Taiwan University of Arts, TongJi University in Shanghai and Beijing Normal University, China, Dance New Amsterdam, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center and 92nd Street Y in New York City, Cultural Center of the Philippines, and National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center. Wang’s current research deals with the interfacing of live performance and video dance as well screendance. Currently, Wang is an Associate Professor in the Dance Department of Rutgers University.
Italian Interdisciplinary Artist based in London
Nicko Straniero is a visual artist based in Italy. He is interested in deconstructing marginal notions of taste and aesthetics in works that create tensions and potential new meanings. Over the years he has experimented with different media and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Laura Sánchez is an expressive dance artist, choreographer and educator originally from Cádiz, Spain. She began her flamenco education as a child and received professional training from the Dance Conservatory of Madrid. Laura holds a Professional Certificate in Expressive Arts Therapies from Lesley University where she developed an emerging therapeutic dance practice, Expressive Flamenco©. She facilitates workshops, presents this work internationally and continues to serve annually as Guest Professor for the Lesley University Expressive Therapies Master’s Program. Laura actively performs in flamenco venues in the Eastern U.S., and placed 3rd at the 2016 Flamenco Certamen USA, an international competition that takes place in NYC annually. She works as independent choreographer for organizations including Boston College of Fine Arts, Massachusetts Government, Bridgewater University, and Kingston Theater. In her most recent work, AFTER DARK, Laura found herself a filmmaker; telling the resilience stories of a community affected by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Teaching "Expressive Flamenco" on Fri 3/19 at 10:15 AM ET
Screening "After Dark" as part of our film programming.
More info to come soon
Boston-based dance artist and educator
New York City-Based contemporary dance artist
UK-Based Film Director, Producer, and Screenwriter
Erin McNulty is a Boston based dance artist and educator. She holds a B.S. from Boston University's College of Communication (Magna Cum Laude) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Dance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London. Erin is a current company member with Natalie Johnson Dance, and a former principal dancer with Kairos Dance Theater. She is a Lead Teaching Artist with Boston Ballet's Education & Community Initiatives, and is on dance faculty at Boston University. Erin has choreographed her own research-driven work for stage and film, including the 2018 dance film collaboration "Deviation, Twice Removed"; a music video for rock band HOWL!; and a 2020 short film commission as the Women in Film Fellow for the Shawna Shea Film Festival. Her live work has been performed at the Bonnie Bird Theatre in London, Providence Dance Festival, Salem Arts Festival, Artbeat, Providence College, and NACHMO among others.
Screening "Floodstream" as part of our film programming.
Suzannah Dessau is a New York City based contemporary dance artist. Prior to receiving her BFA degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, Suzannah spent two years in Israel studying and working alongside Vertigo Dance Company and Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. During her time in Europe she was fortunate to train and work with numerous choreographers and companies including Jasmin Vardimon, DV8’s Lloyd Newson, Ultima Vez, Hofesh Shechter, Johannes Weiland, and Liz Roche. Suzannah has performed in projects with Maxine Doyle's PUNCHDRUNK and Brice Mousset's OUI Danse. She is also a 200 hour RYT through the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
Graduated as a director from the UK's National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. Her first short film, `Coffee Coloured Children', achieved international film festival success and won first prize in the BBC Showreel competition. More success and awards followed with further dramas and documentaries for a number of UK and international broadcasters including `South Of The Border', a groundbreaking series for the BBC. She was awarded the prestigious honor of a special retrospective screenings at the New York Film Festival, including `The Body Beautiful', one of the UK's most commercially successful short films. Her first feature film, `Welcome II The Terrordome', won first prize at the Birmingham International Film Festival, the Cologne Film Festival and the audience prize at the Verona Film Festival. Ngozi has also directed an episode of `Heartbeat' for ITV, the top-rated UK drama series with an audience of over 18 million.
Dual Rivet Dance
NYC-Based Artist Duo
Chelsea Ainsworth and Jessica Smith
Seattle-Based Creative Director, Singer/Songwriter, and DJ
Dual Rivet is a women-led dance company focused on creating and sharing highly physical contemporary dance to a wide audience. Based in NYC, Dual Rivet creates work for stage and film that exchanges a cinematic and visceral language to influence both platforms. The company teaches a myriad of classes, throughout the United States, with an emphasis on contemporary partnering and floorwork. Led by Jessica Smith and Chelsea Ainsworth, Dual Rivet aims to share what it means to be female leaders in the arts.
Nada Rosa is a creative director, singer, songwriter, artist and dj. Crossing paths with guitar early in life, and later bass, she began producing music and making films while living in Boston, MA. Having grown up in a seaside town, the ocean heavily influences her visual aesthetic and her dreamy, soothing sounds. She began performing in 2018, and released Personas in May of 2020. The Process of Dying was released in Feb 22nd, 2021.