Cuanto es Suficiente: A Dare to Dance in Public Film Fest Winner
This year’s Round Two of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, we were beyond thrilled to receive a submission from the destination for Trump’s wall itself, Mexico. But unlike the wall or the inherently divisive intent behind it, Cuanto es Suficiente is an absolutely joyous film that celebrates the worker, every day life, dance, and our overall humanity in one fell swoop.
It should be no surprise that Cuanto es Suficiente won Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival’s award (unanimously I might add) for Best Use of Location. As the film opens, we see a Mercado in full swing, immediately an atypical setting for a dance film. The site of pig’s heads, whole fish, chickens, and other meats being prepared for sale gives way to a man, dancing through the isles, dodging other workers and crates full of fruits and vegetables, seemingly searching for his love. When he finally finds her, their dance continues in the face of what is clearly real astonishment amongst the market’s merchants and visitors.
In the second of a series of interviews with our winners, here is what Denisse Figueroa, co-creator of the film Cuanto es Suficiente, had to say:
SE: How did you come to make this film? What were the inspirations for, and/or ideas behind it?
DF: We wanted to take dance to the popular areas of the city… to locations where this type of project usually doesn’t happen. We wanted to create a small art/break for passersby and merchants. That’s why we decided to do it in the market… that and because it’s a place full or color and culture. We also wanted to experiment with the space, make the dancers leave their comfort zone by taking them to a place full of obstacles, between corridors full of fruit boxes, merchants, and visitors that all contributed to the movement.
SE: Tell us a little about your history and background with dance and/or film, and which medium you are most involved in:
DF: Well, in the university Rogelio and I had a class of video art and we learned about video dance, since then I liked it. In high school I danced ballet and contemporary dance, so, I found the way to combine dance and video, the two things I love. So, for Cuanto es Suficiente I made sure that Rogelio loves the dance and the video dance. We listened to the music and the first thing I thought was: “we can make a video dance with this!” Rogelio, one of the directors, is writer, producer and director, and I wanted to be the cinematographer. And I can say that since we made this work he now loves dance more, and like me he thinks in terms of video dance for making more works.
SE: Do you follow Screen Dance as a genre?
DF: Yes, we believe that video dance is a great genre that should begin to be valued as a film genre and we must work hard on that, in addition to making the public aware of the wonderful things that this genre can do. In recent years video dance has been used in the field of fashion and the music industry for the creation of video clips or commercials, but people do not know it and we think it’s time for them to realize that much of the content they see every day is really video dance. .
SE: Is this your first dance film?
DF: We have made other video dance works, such as short films or music videos, but this is the one that we have enjoyed the most!
Congratulations to Denisse and Rogelio! Not only did we love the film itself, we loved the intent behind it. We really hope they submit a new and equally marvelous film next year!
Meanwhile please enjoy Cuanto es Suficiente!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Founder/Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied by Nels Cline (Wilco). Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more. She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.
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