ScreenDance Fest and Inkub8 Make a Match
ScreenDance Fest and Inkub8 are Perfect Match
July 11, 2014
By Josie Gulliksen
When seasoned arts veteran Mary Luft, director of Tigertail Productions, South Florida’s longest running presenting and producing organization, was seeking an artistic director for her ScreenDance Festival, she tapped New World School alumni and screen dance innovator Marissa Alma Nick for the job.
She chose Nick for the job after seeing her experimenting with the medium of screen dance over a year ago. Luft got in touch with her and immediately began discussing putting a festival together.
“We agreed that Miami was incubating a lot of choreographers who were working in this medium so she brought me on immediately as artistic director and gave me the freedom to curate the festival and create the vision for our initial festival last year and I am repeating that role this year as well,” Nick says. “The festival focuses primarily on works in South Florida, particularly Miami.”
Nick honed and perfected her screen dance skills by learning and experimenting with dance on film, particularly works by German and other European choreographers. After graduating from New World, she spent time in Los Angeles and worked in commercials and other television mediums.
When she moved back to Miami she needed to establish herself as an individual choreographer so she picked up one of her many cameras and quickly became connected to local filmmakers which lead to her getting connected with Luft.
Camera work is essential to screen dance production, where choreographed pieces are taped presentations rather than typical live productions. And Nick says that “the trend in dance and choreography internationally is to create works that are both for video and the stage.”
Filming for screen dance can be done with a high quality camera or even an iPhone. Nick says this is the way of the future and that “all choreographers should start taking this seriously because it’s just the evolution of our craft.”
In an effort to assist choreographers interested in submitting their work for the 2015 ScreenDance Festival in January, they are renting the Inkub8 space (at 2021 NW 1 Place in Wynwood) for this year’s summer workshop on July 19 due to the success of last year’s “very valuable workshop,” Nick says.
“We felt the workshop helps encourage dancers to submit to our festival by the September 1 deadline and also boosts confidence in the dancers to pick up the camera. Gabri Christa is leading the workshop again and she is wonderfully accessible as an artist, person and teacher,” Nick says.
The workshop is noon to 3 p.m. and the only one in the summer. It will be divided into two parts focusing on both how to see and visualize dance for the screen. Participants should bring a smart phone or small camera, notebook, colored pencils and old photo magazines. They will conceptualize, create a dance script and ultimately film a short 30-second to one-minute piece. Creating the video work as well as working with and without the camera will show them what the camera does that the stage does not.
More workshops will be held in January during the actual festival. Currently a three- or four-day camera specific workshop with Christa is planned along with a one-day law workshop with attorney Marlon Hill, from Miami’s DelancyHill firm where he will teach about copyright and legalities about filming and what to be careful of when creating the videos.
“Hill’s workshop has legal information and knowledge that is useful to the dancers. We’re expanding on these two workshops because they were the most popular last year,” Nick says.
Also pending for the Festival is a satellite program screening films from CineDans, the premiere Screen Dance Festival in Amsterdam, during ScreenDance Miami.
Building on the success of almost all sold out performances last year, they are exploring partnering with the Perez Art Museum Miami to expand the festival beyond just the dance community.
“The festival is being showcased at Miami Beach Cinematheque but we’re considering a few different venues to showcase the Cinedans satellite component. We want the festival to be bigger this year because bigger is better,” Nick says.
The Inkub8 workshops take place on July 19 from noon to 3 p.m. at 2021 NW 1 Place, Wynwood, 305-482-1621. The ScreenDance Miami film submission deadline is Sept. 1. Dates for the 2015 event are to be announced.