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Celebrating Dance On Film

Photo: "Bookin'" John Kirkscey
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For the second year, South Florida cultural powerhouse Tigertail Productions presents ScreenDance Miami, a unique film festival that celebrates and showcases dance on film.

Led by festival director, dancer/choreographer and filmmaker, Marissa Nick, this year’s program expands to include new venues and programming, which aims to increase their attendance beyond traditional dance audiences.

“When you put dance on camera, it makes it more accessible to new audiences,” Nick explains. “This year’s programming allows us to put ScreenDance in front of a community beyond just dance lovers, which is very exciting.”

The festival opens on Wednesday at Perez Art Museum Miami with a specially curated evening of films from the internationally acclaimed Cinedans Festival. Nick forged a partnership between ScreenDance and one of the world’s leading festivals for dance on film during a trip to Amsterdam last year. While meeting with Cinedans festival director Martine Dekker, Nick shared the goals and plans that she had for ScreenDance, and to Nick’s surprise, Dekker suggested showing Cinedans pieces in Miami. “There was not one piece I saw [at Cinedans] that I was not in awe of, I was left breathless,” Nick ssays about the selections that will be making their stateside premiere at PAMM: Hyperscape, Diamond Dancers, Spiegelingen (Mirroring), What's Unfolding, and Off Ground.

In addition to the partnership with Cinedans, Nick was pleased with the geographic diversity of submissions the festival received this year, “There was so much strong and exciting work coming in from across the United States that we decided to expand the festival to incorporate work that wasn’t only made in Miami, but that needed to be shown and seen in Miami.”

Many of the submissions the festival received this year included installation works that were best shown in a less traditional theatrical setting. “These are pieces that needed to be presented in a gallery, seen in a loop, and from different viewpoints,” says Nick about the films by locals Moira Holohan, Barron Sherer and Magnus Sodamin that will be screened during a free evening of work at Wynwood gallery space, The Screening Room, on Thursday.

Friday takes place at Miami Beach Cinematheque and features Bessie award winning choreographer Marta Renzi’s elegant and powerful Her Children Mourn, Eva Perrota’s Dorian C, which Nick describes as “an exquisite piece, such strong work. It was filmed on location in Brooklyn, but has a very feminine Victorian aspect.” John Kirkscey’s Bookin’, a film which combines Jookin (a Memphis street dance) and ballet will close out the evening, with Kirkscey participating in a post screening discussion.

Saturday and Sunday brings the festival to Wynwood’s Inkub8 performance space featuring numerous works primarily by Florida-based artists. Both evenings begin with an outdoor wall screening from Pioneer Winter and Jared Sharon.

In addition to screenings and conversations, this year the festival offers two free workshops at Inkub8. Taught by local attorney, Marlon A. Hill, one workshop focuses on educating dancers and filmmakers on legal issues related to creating work on film.

The second workshop is taught by dance-on-film pioneer and Guggenheim fellow, Gabri Christa, and addresses new points of view when capturing dance on camera. Open to dancers looking to transition to film, and directors who don’t have a dance background but are interested in working with dance on film, the workshop offers a hands on approach to creating dance on film.

“That we are attracting work from all over the world, says a lot about the work that we are doing here. Anything I can do to elevate the idea of art being made in Miami, I’m so excited about.”

ScreenDance Miami -- Festival of Dance on Film, Screenings and Workshops :

Wednesday at 7:00 p.m at PAMM, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; free with museum admission. Thursday at 7:00 p.m., The Screening Room, 2626 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami; free. Friday at 7:00 p.m., Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; $11 general admission. Saturday, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. workshops, 6:30 p.m. screenings; free. Sunday at 5:30 p.m. screenings; free.

For tickets and more info, or call 305 324 4337.

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