Dance Camera West’s 16th Annual Dance Media Film Festival

Spring is here and and so is the Los Angeles based non-profit Dance Camera West’s 16th Annual Dance Media Film Festival. As always, Dance Camera West (DCW) screens the best of internationally sourced dance films, a genre that is under the radar yet frequently ends up informing or becoming the source of inspiration for many, much more commercial or high profile endeavors. As a premiere Los Angeles institution, DCW is dedicated to “fostering and promoting the vibrant art of dance and dance on film from around the globe”. And as I’ve often said before, Dance Camera West is the Sundance of Dance Film Festivals.

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A selection from the shorts program
An image from Katherine Macnaughton’s short film “Wake”

Dance has the ability to bridge gaps between cultures, wordlessly communicating the human experience in the universal language of movement. And as is their usual wont, DCW “continues its passion for bringing together diverse communities to experience dance through the intimate medium of film”.

This year’s films will screen at various UCLA venues, and prices range from free to $15. I am more than thrilled to announce that my own film Ghost Story, will have its world premiere as part of the Featured Documentary Program on Saturday April 22nd at UCLA’s Fowler Museum from noon – 5 pm.

This year’s festival highlights include:

– Opening Night International Short Films (a personal favorite of mine)

A moment of flight in the documentary "Mr Gaga"
A moment of flight in Tomer Heymann’s documentary about Ohad Naharin, “Mr Gaga”

– A Celebration of UCLA Dance
Honoring the Legacy of the Six Extraordinary Female Founders of UCLA Dance: Elsie DuninPia Gilbert, Alma HawkinsCarol ScothornDoris Siegel, and the very wonderful Allegra Fuller Snyder

– Featured Documentaries:
A Man of Dance, dir. Marie Brodeur; the story of living legend Vincent Warren, American-born star dancer of Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

A scene from "Storyboard P: A Stranger in Sweden"
A scene from Matthew D’Arcy’s film “Storyboard P: A Stranger in Sweden”

Bill T. Jones, dir. Vincent Kay; Bill T. Jones assists dance students at CSULB in their production of his controversial staging of Flannery O’Connor’s ‘The Artifical N*****’

Storyboard P, a stranger in Sweden, dir. Mattew D’Arcy; chronicles Storyboard’s early steps towards international stardom, followed by Sarah Elgart’s short film Ghost Story

– West Coast premiere of In the Steps of Trisha Brown
Trisha Brown, who recently passed away, was a choreographer who was considered a pillar of American Postmodern Dance

Jacob Jonas the Company's "Grey"
Jacob Jonas the Company’s “Grey”

– Family Day of humorous and animated dance films

– Special Screening of Mr. Gaga
A documentary film about renowned Israeli choreographer and artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company, Ohad Naharin, who has had a major influence over modern dance with his own movement language, Gaga

And as if all that is not enough, DCW will conclude with To The Sea, two nights of free live dance performances by companies/choreographers including Jacob Jonas the Company, 7 Fingers, The Seaweed Sisters and more. Although free, reservations are required (see link below).

DCW’s films and programming is always a source of inspiration, not just for dance and movement but also for possibility, imagination, communication, the cinematic arts, and the human condition. Whether professional dancer, dance aficionado, layman, or professional pedestrian, these are things we all can relate to. If you are in the LA area, I urge you not to miss it.  Check out the trailer below for a taste of this year’s line up.

Dance Camera West takes place April 20-23, and 29-30.

For tickets and further information go to:

See you at the 16th Annual Dance Camera West Dance Media Film Festival!

What are you looking for?