DeSales Dance and TV/Film Students Collaborate on Screendance Festival

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski | Nov 12, 2015

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The DeSales University Division of Performing Arts announces its dance and TV/film departments’ presentation of the 10th Annual Screendance Festival on Saturday, November 21 at 8:00 PM and Sunday November 22 at 8:00 PM in the DeSales University Center on the Center Valley campus. This popular event often draws a standing room only crowd and is free and open to the public.

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The Screendance Festival will open on Saturday, November 21 at 8:00 PM will feature a slate of eight award-winning films featured within the last two years at the NYC Dance on Camera Festival. They have also been screened and featured dance on camera festival worldwide. “I’m particularly excited to be able to bring these films—created by some of the most renowned dance on film filmmakers working in the world today—to the Lehigh Valley,” says Tim Cowart, chair of the DeSales University dance department. 

"Our Screendance Festival is always fascinating because it explores how the camera focuses attention to a particular element of choreography,” says John Bell, head of the division of performing arts. “It also demonstrates how film editors accentuate choreographers’ ideas becoming, in essence, a co-choreographer”

The program for the screening on November 21 runs approximately 70 minutes and will include the following eight award-winning films:

“Well contested Sites” by Amie Dowling.  Developed and shot on Alcatraz Island, this film explores the issue of mass incarceration and the complex experience faced by the incarcerated. This film received the 2013 American Dance Festival International Screendance Jury Award.

“Dervishes” by RJ Muna is a perfectly calibrated study of movement and physical architecture based on the characteristics of circular movement.

In “Juice Box Afternoon” by Lily Baldwin, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, through her own writing, comes of age, meets Charles Lindbergh, and experiences flight in more ways than one. The first in a new series entitled, “The Paperback Movie Project.” Each short film is an interpretation of a novel and explores the fluid relationship between a reader, words and imagination.

“Stella & Tom” by John Resner features two of American Ballet Theatre’s finest dancers—Stella Abrera and Tom Forster—in a specially choreographed dance on film which is danced to ‘Depuis le jour’ from the Gustave Charpentier opera “Louise” and performed in the window-filled Ailey studios.

“Escualo” by Martin & Facundo is a powerful new piece from the Lombard Twins, a “Dance Scene” set to music by Astor Piazzolla. “Rules of the Game” by Jeff and Rick Kuperman,

Explores how trust between four factory workers dissolves under the unremitting surveillance of the management.

 “Homegoings” by Christine Turner is inspired by the award-winning documentary “Homegoings,” which explores the African American way of death. Dancers from the Bill T. Jones/Arne Zane Dance Company perform an original dance piece that demonstrates meaning and beauty in the life cycle. Choreographed by Janet Wong with music by Daniel Roumain.

In “Vanishing Points” by Marites Carino, conceptual hip-hop dancers collide and share fleeting moments of intimate synchronicity on the streets of Montreal. This is a visual exploration of the power of momentary connection within an otherwise disconnected world. Choreographed by conceptual hip-hop dance duo Tentacle Tribe who transpose break dancing concepts, usually explored in solo work, onto two bodies.

All of the films for the Saturday showing have been selected from the NYC Dance on Camera Festival.  The annual NYC Dance on Camera Festival is co-presented by Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Dance Films Association continues to support the production, presentation, and preservation of dance films by connecting filmmakers, choreographers, presenters, and audiences worldwide through additional year round programming.

On Sunday, November 22 at 8:00 PM, the program will feature films created in the 48-Hour Screendance Challenge. For the challenge, 87 dance, theatre, and TV/film majors work together in seven teams to conceive, choreograph, light, shoot, and edit a film in just 48 hours. The theme of this year’s contest is “Threshold.” Filming will begin on Friday at 4:00 PM and all competing submissions are due by 4:00 PM on Sunday, allowing festival adjudicator Brighid Greene, program director of the NYC Dance Films Association, just enough time to evaluate the students’ creations prior to the public screening at 8:00 PM. Ms. Greene will provide feedback on each of the films and will select a slate of winning film from the submissions.

“Our Screendance Festival is one an annual favorite because it’s one of the few presentations that showcases the power of collaboration as students from each of our varied programs—dance, theatre, and TV/film—share their talents and abilities with one another,” says Bell.

“The Red Carpet Dinner” will take place on Sunday, November 22 in the DeSales University Center. Satisfy your craving for a delicious dinner before the Screendance Festival with a feast inspired by the surprise prop in the 48–hour Screendance Challenge. Join dance and TV/film faculty and Screendance alumni as we learn more about the process and this art form during the nail-biting hours before the 2015 winners are revealed. John Bell, Head of the Division of Performing Arts, hosts.

The Screendance Festival is a free, non-ticketed event. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call the Act 1 box office at 610-282-3192.


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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