Dance On Camera And Film At Lincoln Center Announce Lineup For 2024 DANCE ON CAMERA Festival, February 9–12

Programming will highlight dance history, diversity of form and style, and dance innovators.

By: Jan. 09, 2024
Dance On Camera And Film At Lincoln Center Announce Lineup For 2024 DANCE ON CAMERA Festival, February 9–12
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Dance On Camera and Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) present the 52nd edition of the Dance on Camera Festival from February 9 to 12, 2024.

The four-day festival features 11 programs with a total of 36 films selected from countries around the globe, including eight world premieres, five North American premieres, two U.S. premieres, and more than 10 New York premieres. Dance on Camera Festival, the longest-running dance film festival in the world, takes place at Film at Lincoln Center with programming organized by the nonprofit organization, Dance On Camera.

 

“The 52nd Dance on Camera Festival invites New York audiences to traverse a rich, international tapestry of dance films that transcend time, style, and form while celebrating innovative artists and stories,” said co-curator Michael Trusnovec. “We're thrilled to share classical grace alongside the vitality of contemporary expression with all those who seek the beauty of dance, old and new.”

 

The festival opens with Chelsea McMullan's cinéma vérité-driven feature documentary, Swan Song. Executive produced by Neve Campbell, the film immerses viewers in the National Ballet of Canada's 2022 production of Swan Lake, which is being directed for the first time by the company's artistic director and iconic ballerina, Karen Kain, on the eve of her retirement. “I'm honored to have Swan Song presented at the opening night of the longest-running dance film festival's 52nd year,” says McMullan. “The festival is a testament to the universal allure of this enduring art form and the work of dance innovators, such as Kain. I'm excited to bring my documentary feature to dance film enthusiasts of New York.” A Q&A with filmmakers will take place immediately following the screening. 

 

The series of short- and feature-length narrative and documentary films also aims to spotlight the interplay between dance, technology, and filmmaking techniques, while also including a more playful theme that runs in many of the projects. Additionally, Ten Times Better includes a partnership screening with the New York Public Library. “For this year's festival, it was imperative to the curation team to include visually striking films, such as Violent Textures of Nature by Matthew Strasburger, which draws on intriguing color techniques, skewed environments and their inhabitants, and a trancelike sound score,” noted Dance On Camera president and festival co-curator Shawn Bible. “This year, we included more humor dispersed throughout the programs that can be found in films like At the Bathhouse, by Emmy Award-winning director, choreographer, and educator Al Blackstone, whose credits also include choreography for So You Think You Can Dance.”  

 

The Dance on Camera Festival Will Close with the documentary feature Obsessed with Light from filmmakers Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum. The film unfolds the work and astonishing influence of early-20th-century performer Loïe Fuller, whose dance and theatrical lighting techniques have inspired the work of contemporary luminaries such as Taylor Swift, Shakira, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Bill T. Jones, among others. Co-curator Cara Hagan noted, “We are thrilled to close the festival with a celebration of dance trailblazer Löie Fuller. Obsessed with Light encapsulates the goals we put forth to honor how innovators of the past have shaped the art we enjoy today and how they continue to inspire artists of the future, creating a seamless connection between the elegance of classical forms and the dynamic energy of modern creativity.”

 

The interactive competition #mydancefilm also returns to the 2024 Dance on Camera Festival and showcases submissions from filmmakers worldwide. It will be available to the public at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Tuesday, February 11 at 4:45pm as part of the festival's free public programming. Additional details can be found at dancefilms.org.

 

Tickets for the 2024 Dance on Camera Festival go on sale Thursday, January 11 at noon. Tickets are $12 for Film at Lincoln Center Members, $14 for Students, Seniors (62+), and Persons with Disabilities, and $17 for the General Public. Save with the discounted All-Access Pass for $99 and the discounted Student All-Access Pass for $59. See more and save at FLC with a 3+ Film Package ($15 for general public; $12 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $10 for FLC Members). Add dinner at Café Paradiso, located in FLC's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, with our $30 Dinner + Movie Combo.

 

For additional information regarding the festival, please visit Film at Lincoln Center at filmlinc.org and Dance On Camera at dancefilms.org, and follow us on social media @filmlinc and @dancefilms.

 

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS

All films screen at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center's Francesca Beale Theater (FBT) or Amphitheater (AMP) at 144 W. 65th St.

 

Opening Night Program 

Friday, February 9 at 7:00pm (FBT) 

 

Swan Song

Chelsea McMullan, 2023, Canada, 103m

U.S. Premiere

Swan Song immerses viewers inside one of the world's leading ballet companies as it mounts a legacy-defining new production of Swan Lake, directed by ballet icon Karen Kain on the eve of her retirement. The verité-driven feature documentary closely follows Kain and a group of young dancers drawn from the National Ballet of Canada's ranks, weaving Swan Lake's dramatic creation process with intimate scenes from the subjects' personal lives as they push toward one of the most significant opening nights in their company's history. 

 

 

Program 2: Films for All Ages

Saturday, February 10 at 11:30am (FBT)

42m

 

Rooftop Party

Laura Glaess, 2023, USA, 2m

New York Premiere

Rooftop Party seeks to explore the multifaceted possibilities of jazz music through the dualities of modern-day Lindy Hop: a dance that, like jazz itself, is both contemporary and vintage, improvised and choreographed, powerful and subtle, individual and collective, repetitive and original. Dancers Nathan and Laura meet on a New York rooftop to put movement to Count Basie's 1952 masterpiece, Paradise Squat.

 

Dance on Paper II

Diego Agudo Pinilla, 2023, Spain, 12m

World Premiere

Using traditional animation techniques (colored pencils on paper), this film portrays some of the most relevant figures of dance through their movements.

 

In the MOment: A Drawing Dance 

Ephrat Asherie, 2021, USA, 27m 

New York Premiere

Inspired by the artwork and abstract drawings of critically acclaimed writer and illustrator Mo Willems, Ephrat Asherie Dance's In the MOment: A Drawing Dance is a film about making art out of small things, created to reignite joy, creativity and collaboration in people of all ages. Featuring original music by Marty Beller, In the MOment's fantastical world is brought to life by a cast of virtuosic and playful dancers accompanied by David Bengali's vivid animation and editing. 

 

A Place For Us

Leigh-Ann Esty and Ellie Gravitte, original choreography by Adriana Pierce, 2023, USA, 6m

New York City Premiere

A Place For Us is a dance film set to Leonard Bernstein's iconic Prologue from West Side Story. The six women in this film are all cast members from Steven Spielberg's 2021 version of the story. Unlike the original prologue, this purely female-forward piece encapsulates themes of camaraderie, self-ownership, and strength in togetherness.

 

Legacy 

Lamara Sogomonian, 2023, Russia, 4m 

North American Premiere

Legacy, a co-project of director Lamara Soghomonian and choreographer Igor Rasporskii, is based on artist Salvador Dalí's thoughts that tormented him his entire life. Legacy is performed by an ensemble of young dancers ages 10–16 from the Stage Art Studio dance school in the Russian Federation.

 

 

Program 3: Innovators

Saturday, February 10 at 1:00pm (FBT)

69m

 

Breaking Form

Alexandra Nikolchev, 2023, USA, 58m

World Premiere

A maverick of New York City's downtown dance scene, choreographer Jane Comfort has been known for her issue-oriented works integrating text and movement since the late 1970s. Breaking Form explores a creatively rich and unexamined chapter in New York City dance through the transformation of Comfort from polite Southern transplant into a prolific performer celebrated worldwide for her bold political satire and irreverent social commentary. This film invites its viewers to be inspired by an artist who defies expectations and whose creative work calls on her audience to engage in the social injustice issues of the day.

 

Preceded by:

 

All of Us

Charlotte Griffin, 2023, USA, 7m

New York Premiere

Framed, disrupted, and propelled by improviser Corey Scott-Gilbert dancing with the powerful narration of the late and beloved Gus Solomons jr., this film features romantic partners, roommates, family members, and duets dancing “at home” amongst accumulating domestic objects. Highlighting movers across identities, All of Us offers a look into coexistence within a common screen space, transforming repetition into a parable of the human experience. Produced and directed by Charlotte Griffin with co-producers Johanna Witherby and MiRi Park, and with an original score by Milica Paranosic for mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn. This screendance was awarded an "Honorable Mention" for its promise by the Dance Films Association Production Grant.

 

a foreigner

Eiko Otake and Patrizia Herminjard, 2023, USA, 4m

World Premiere

Japanese with English subtitles

Once a person is a foreigner, she never ceases to be a foreigner. No place is hers, except her shadow. This film features award-winning, movement-based interdisciplinary artist Eiko Otake, who has been a pivotal figure in site-specific dance for more than five decades.

 

 

Program 4: Global Shorts

Saturday, February 10 at 3:15pm (FBT)

76m

 

OtroLado / OtherSide

Gabriela Cavanagh and Grace McNally, 2023, USA, 13m

New York Premiere

Spanish with English subtitles

When three of Cuba's most celebrated dancers leave the national company to form their own trio, the pressure to succeed mounts. Meanwhile, they've given up the resources that supported them. Under the weight of their departure, they struggle and demand more of themselves and each other. In that tension, their creative capabilities rise and their relationships strengthen. Part documentary, part performance, OtroLado is a behind-the-scenes look as they test the boundaries of contemporary dance, friendship, and art.

 

Slipping

Karen Kaeja and Roshanak Jaberi, 2022, Canada, 21m

New York Premiere

Slipping is an intimate journey of four women's lives as they slip between emotional and psychological torment. The characters coexist through their unfolding stories in a century-old mansion. Their only link to reality is each other. Conceived and filmed in rural Quebec with an all-female team, co-directors Roshanak Jaberi and Karen Kaeja set out to merge their artistic voices. The fictional and haunting narrative of Slipping was shot through the lens of cinematographer Olya Glotka and scored by Edgardo Moreno.

 

Thick Skin

Laura Steiner, 2023, Colombia, 3m

New York Premiere

Thick Skin is an ode to Bogotá, a bustling, warm, exciting, sexy, and tropical city both in people, liveliness, and attitude. It's also a messy city, dangerous and unequivocally disparate. To be able to live in Bogotá means you have to constantly swap your skin—sometimes tough and reptilian in order to survive, and sometimes soft and porous to let all of the city's life in. In Thick Skin, four bodies dance in contemporary movement through the city's streets, while a poetic voice-over speaks of the need to have a thick skin in order to survive in this urban jungle.

 

Romance

Samantha Shay, 2023, Germany, 38m

North American Premiere

Multilingual film with English subtitles

Developed in close collaboration between director Samantha Shay and an intergenerational ensemble of dancers from Tanztheater Wuppertal, Romance centers on the company's first transgender dancer, Naomi Brito, and how her transition was catalyzed by the roles of women as she experienced them in the Pina Bausch repertoire. Shot on 16mm film in Pina Bausch's iconic and aging Lichtburg rehearsal studio and inspired by the short story “It Was Romance” by Miranda July, the film dances on the fault lines between fiction and reality, dance and documentary, in a fertile intergenerational dialogue between past, present, and future. Through a fresh and powerful encounter, it assures that the power of an aging legacy is never-ending.

 

 

Program 5: Conversation with Directors (free public programming)

Saturday, February 10 at 4:45pm (AMPH)

60m

 

Join a group of this year's filmmakers for a far-reaching panel discussion about their processes for and challenges in making work at the crossroads of dance and film. This will be presented as part of Dance on Camera's free public programming.

 

 

Program 6: Classical Combinations

Saturday, February 10 at 6:00pm (FBT)

72m

 

Ten Times Better

Jennifer Lin, USA, 2023, 30m

World Premiere

George Lee is an 88-year-old blackjack dealer who still works five days a week, a beloved figure in the pit of a downtown Las Vegas casino. None of the card players—and few of his coworkers—know of this humble man's astonishing background: a child dance prodigy and refugee from Shanghai who became a teenage sensation in the original staging of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker exactly 70 years ago, performing the “Tea” divertissement. George's story is uniquely American: an immigrant striving to prove himself as an Asian pioneer in ballet and on Broadway, where he was cast by Gene Kelly for the original production of Flower Drum Song. The film is a tale of talent and perseverance in the face of hardship, and a reminder of the extraordinary stories behind the nameless faces all around us.

 

One

Matthäus Bussmann, 2023, Germany, 7m

New York Premiere

One depicts the journey of an artist who, in the face of adversity, transcends his reality to arrive at a higher level of consciousness and a deeper understanding of his art. His rebirth in the midst of struggle is an allegory of the pandemic. Renowned choreographer David Dawson and Daniil Simkin, one of the world's foremost classical ballet dancers, create an emotional journey that mirrors the struggle of artists to create art in the context of flux.

 

Then or Now

Roswitha Chesher and Will Tuckett, 2022, U.K., 35m

U.S. Premiere

We are living through times where every action we take, whether responding to a call to arms or deciding to remain passive, has become a political act. Small or large, personal or public, our actions seem to hold more weight than before. Creating work for Ballet Black in this climate felt very different to previous collaborations—still exciting, but with great responsibility. Whose story should the dancers be telling in a time of such political and social change?

 

 

Program 7: Shorts – Provocative Perspectives

Saturday, February 10 at 8:15pm (FBT)

88m

 

Violent Textures of Nature and Flesh

Matthew Strasburger, 2023, USA, 23m

New York Premiere

Through movement, dance, and haptic cinema, we render the body's evolving relationship to the natural world, shifting through distinct phases of tenderness, dissonance, violence, and ecstasy. How does the body give and receive energy from the earth? As humans continue to do violence onto the earth, how does this connection evolve? Dancers Cody Gomez and Isabella Starkey Meier incorporate freeform, improvisatory dance styles to build a shared performance that evokes the sensorial conversation between the earth and the body. 

 

Moving Matter

Beau Han Bridge, Robert Kitsos, and Meagan Woods, 2023, Canada, 12m

World Premiere 

Moving Matter is the culmination of a material-led process with artists from the worlds of dance, costume design, and film that began with a study of old kitchen flooring about to be discarded. This flax-based material entered our orbit in the 1950s, when a measured homelife and prescribed domesticity offered a reassuring antidote to bomb scares, political turmoil, and paranormativity. Stability topples as the flooring becomes entangled in the lives of those who don the material as garments and shelters. 

 

Smashed

Michael J. Munoz and Federica Marchese, 2023, Italy, 5m

North American Premiere

Smashed unfolds against the backdrop of an eerily deserted Venice—a unique blessing only few could witness. Crafting a psychedelic dance film that explores the depths of a cannabis-induced trip, the narrative delves into paranoia, loss, enlightenment, and the breaking of artistic insecurities. The music and choreography—both crafted by the film's star, Jean Michael Sinisterra Munoz (Michael J. Munoz), a former dancer/actor of the renowned Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Eastman and the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani—harmonize seamlessly, resulting in a one-of-a-kind, surreal experience. Smashed emerges as a personal triumph, originating from a creative blockage and concluding as a testament to resilience, creativity, and the unveiling of hidden intellect.

 

Dolorosa

Emma Martin and Hugh O'Conor; producer: Zlata Filipovic, 2023, Ireland, 10m

New York Premiere

A young woman yields to a predetermined story. Someone's son wrestles inside the abyss of his own skin. A woman's face marked by hope, pain, and triumph. A young girl rebels against expectation and success. Moving through a series of tableaux vivants, Dolorosa is an imaginative short film reflecting on humanity in all its glory, innocence, desperation, power, and vulnerability. Dolorosa presents innovative imagery and a poetic human movement vocabulary that has no limits, full of vivid color, glitter, and pageantry in every captivating scene.

 

Am I Here

Eva Tang, 2023, Singapore, 24m

North American Premiere

Birth, separation, death, and farewell in a small flat. Home, is it permanent or fluid? Haunting and mesmerizing, Am I Here produces a trancelike experience through framing techniques and an evocative soundscore.

 

Devouring Stones Up Close

Cat Rider and zap mcconnell, 2023, USA, 9m

New York Premiere

Devouring Stones Up Close, directed by Cat Rider and zap mcconnell, is a 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 on which we walk, create, and dance. Driven by a visceral soundscape that features music by overtone singer Natascha Nikeprelevic and artists John MacCallum and Teoma Naccarato, the film emerges from the waters, swamps, and sands of the land presently known as the Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA. The movement language of dancers Jasmine Fitch, Mizuho Kappa, and Katie Schetlick melds together and breaks open again and again in moments of fearlessness, ritual, and “reverence to the irreverent.”  

 

3 Horsewomen

Kimberley Cooper and Noel Bégin, 2023, Canada, 5m

World Premiere

Inspired by the opening scene from F.W. Murnau's 1926 silent film Faust, featuring the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and with movement references from the dances of Oyá, the Yoruba Orisha of violent storms and the dead, 3 Horsewomen is set to a commissioned score and danced on mechanical, horses covered in silver leaf. When we first meet the 3 Horsewomen, they are in the heavens, amongst the stars, writhing and riding in and around each other almost like cells merging and dividing. As the music shifts, the 3 Horsewomen begin their journey, becoming more agitated as they ride through the cosmos. Flying past the moon and finally descending, they arrive at sunrise to bring pestilence to Earth.

 

 

Program 8: Environmental Expressions

Sunday, February 11 at 11:30am (FBT)

82m

 

Sea Spray / 海之岸

Chin-Yuan Ke, 2022, Taiwan, 59m

North American Premiere

Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles

Embark on a mesmerizing journey with Sea Spray, a groundbreaking documentary that intertwines dance, visual art, and environmental exploration. In a society increasingly detached from Taiwan's surrounding seas, a group of young performers dive deep into the ocean's essence, translating their profound experiences into spellbinding performance art. This transdisciplinary project delves into the power of dance and visual media to convey the urgent message of environmental change. As undulating waves and shifting sands come to life through expressive movements, Sea Spray challenges us to rethink our connection to the world in between extremes. Director Chin-Yuan Ke's visionary approach captures the beauty, vulnerability, and evolution of Taiwan's environment. Sea Spray is a poetic dialogue between humanity and nature that beckons us to return to the loving embrace of Mother Sea with a poignant call for change and appreciation.

 

Preceded by:

 

Branché

Janique L. Robillard and Eric Bates, 2023, Canada, 16m

New York Premiere

Through unique, female-driven circus and movement art, Branché traverses time and the lush natural landscapes of Quebec in a poetic exploration of our potential to work in harmony with nature in the face of the rising conflicts and chaos of the climate crisis. As diminishing resources and livable land drive an existential collapse, the daring three-high formations and breathtaking falls remind us that a oneness of nature and humanity is undoubtedly worth preserving.

 

A State of Thirst

Vajrasara, 2023, India, 8m

World Premiere

Many in the Global South are living in a state of perpetual thirst. Violent fights sparked by water shortages are no longer “news.” The human body and its most basic need is the subject of this minimalist vision of a water-scarce future. The action in A State of Thirst centers on the climbing of a wooden pole by an artist trained in mallakhamb, a body conditioning exercise practiced by Indian martial artists. 

 

 

Program 9: Production Grantees (free public programming)

Sunday, February 11 at 1:30pm (AMPH)

60m

 

As part of the festival's free public programming, Production Grantees features recipients of Dance on Camera's competitive production grants.




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