7th Annual Screendance Festival to Open at DeSales

by Roseann Damico-Schatkowski | Oct 19, 2012

Festival to Feature Joffrey Ballet Documentary and the 48-Hour Screendance Challenge

The DeSales University Division of Performing Arts is pleased to announce its Dance Department’s presentation of the 7th Annual Screendance Festival on Saturday, November 10 at 8:00 PM and Sunday,November 11 at 8:00 PM in the auditorium of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Science Center on the campus of DeSales University. The event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required. Tickets are available by calling the Labuda box office at 610.282.3192 or online at www.desales.edu/act1.

The Screendance Festival will open on Saturday, November 10 at 8:00 PM in the Hurd Science Center auditorium with a screening of the new documentary film entitled “Joffrey: Maverics of American Dance” about the founding of the Chicago-based Joffrey Ballet company. This 82-minute informative documentary chronicles the struggles and successes of this truly American dance company. The film’s director, Bob Hercules, and two of its featured company dancers, Trinette Singleton and Davis Robertson, will form a panel discussion that will help fill in the story surrounding this remarkable company and this documentary film that has chronicled its founding and development. The panel members will be signing and selling copies of the DVD at the screening.

“Joffrey: Maverics of American Dance” tells the story of this groundbreaking cultural treasure, known as the first truly American dance company. Narrated by Tony and Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin, the film documents how The Joffrey Balletrevolutionized American ballet by daringly combining modern dance with traditional ballet technique, combining art with social statement, and setting ballets to pop and rock music scores.

Co-founded in 1956 by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey and dancer Gerald Arpino, who would become their principal choreographer, The Joffrey Ballet began as a DIY company of six dancers touring the United States in a borrowed station wagon. What started as a childhood dream quickly grew into one of the world’s most exciting and prominent ballet companies. Together, Joffrey and Arpino transformed the face of dance with bold new perspectives for edgy ballets that challenged conventions. Aggressive touring took the Company from school auditoriums across America’s Heartland, to the White House at Jacqueline Kennedy’s invitation, on to Russia for a month-long tour during the height of the Cold War, and beyond. They also garnered extensive media attention for their daring originality, which included appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, the cover of  Time magazine, and in major motion pictures such as “Save the Last Dance” and Robert Altman’s “The Company” (which is based on the Joffrey).

“Joffrey: Maverics of American Dance” weaves a wealth of rare archival footage and photographs along with interviews featuring former and current Joffrey stardancers, showing the full history of the Company from its founding to the present. The film features rare excerpts from many seminal Joffrey works including “Astarte,” “Trinity,” and “Billboards.”

Mr. Hercules returns on Sunday, November 11 at 8:00 PM to judge the film submissions of the 48-Hour Screendance Challenge. In an effort designed to foster collaborations between the DeSales University Dance and TV/Film majors, students work together to conceive, choreograph, light, shoot, and edit a film in just 48 hours. At 4:00 PM on Friday, November 9, students will be given the parameters that are required to be worked into the films and all of the submissions are due by 4:00 PM on Sunday, November 11, allowing Bob Hercules just enough time to see and evaluate them prior to the public screening at 8:00 PM. Mr. Hercules will provide feedback on each of the films and will select a winning film from the submissions. This popular event often draws a standing room only crowd.

The event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required. Tickets are available by calling the Labuda box office at 610.282.3192 or online at www.desales.edu/act1.


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Tom McNamara
Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University
2255 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219
Tom.McNamara@desales.edu