After the screening of Plow Plant Reap at Movies by Movers, we all received a thoughtful wrap-up from the director, Cara Hagan:
OK, got it: even if I'm not there to witness it, we're building new audiences for a certain kind of work. Which kind of work is that exactly? Film with dance in it?At our new home of Appalachian State University, the festival was heartily received by students, faculty and members of the community. I am excited to report that there were many newcomers to dance film in our audiences and they were surprised and blown away by the work screened in the festival. There were opportunities for engaged discussion in between screenings and I was happy to hear not only general positive feedback, but lots of questions surrounding the work and a desire from many to know about the art form.
In a series dedicated to Dance on Film, 2 of my shorts have been programmed to show on an elegant screen at the Jacob Burns Film Center, and I'm thrilled. The JBFC series includes feature films and documentaries on HipHop, Flamenco and Fred Astaire. Over the course of the week-long series, the rather sophisticated audience will, I presume, experience a range of styles and points of view. Hell, even just these 2 pieces of mine could be said to express different points of view.
Jacob Burns is just across the river from me so it's easy to be there in person. How much of the series should I attend in order to eavesdrop on conversations between filmgoers?
Also local but not dance-focused, is the YoFi Film Fest in Yonkers, New York which has selected Honeymoon. And yet some of my old standby dance film festivals like InShadow don't seem to be falling for Honeymoon. Are even the dance films I make not really dance films? Lil' ol' Texas Plates is screening in the Bastrop Film & Music Festival not because of the dancing in it, but because of the excellent music by Patti Scialfa - well, and because it's called Texas Plates.
Then there's Roxie, which is suddenly feeling love from all over - last weekend at the Sunrise Film Festival in Nova Scotia, and in early November at the Virginia Film Festival. These are not dance-related festivals at all; in fact, I wonder if the little bit of dancing in Roxie just confuses programmers. Roxie was also selected by a very cool series in Paris called Ethnografilm. You can be sure I'll attend - even though it's only 8 minutes long, hubby! - because I'm curious to see the other "ethnographic" work being shown; because it's an excuse to visit a friend - oh, right, and because I love Paris in the springtime...cue music.
Maybe you can help me in my confusion. Attend one of the above and give me a report - on the work, the audience, why we attend these events, how it does or doesn't matter if we call it dancing, if I'm in attendance, etc.
And/or enjoy the below which is an abbreviated version of a live performance made about 4 years ago. Choreography for live performance is on my mind because I'm launching into the unknown. Instead of sticking around to attend Honeymoon in Yonkers, I'll be in Provincetown. On October 19th I meet a few strangers and start making a "community dance" which we perform 4 days later.
Expect a full report in my November post. Also brewing are two projects I devised while laid up post-surgery. In the quiet of time off in Cape Cod, I expect to start playing with footage for a new long-term - and longer! - dance film ... which doesn't actually have much dance in it. Say good night, Gracie.