Dances from a Distance…
As a species, by and large, we are social creatures. And while it was likely already amongst us as early as December of last year, COVID-19 seemed to come out from nowhere, stealthily laying the groundwork for what would soon change the world as we knew it, one of the first fallouts being our ability to congregate. Schools, restaurants, sports games, movie theaters, and any businesses deemed “unnecessary” pushed the pause button, and of course that would include theater and dance. I remember the day I read in the NY Times that all of Broadway had closed… it seemed like the apocalypse had truly arrived. Within days, dancers, choreographers, companies and venues from all over the world that house them, would have their seasons’ scheduled performances (and humble incomes) cancelled, or indefinitely postponed. We in the community all mourn the loss both for ourselves and for others.
Not gone, at least for most dance artists, is our need to stay active and engaged. Thank Goddess this happened during the age of the Internet. Dance classes – both free and for pay abound on the web, as well as film based initiatives to keep us creatively connected. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Out of this Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival (D2D) launched Six Foot Distance Dances, inviting the community of dance and filmmakers to explore the notion of isolation from an invisible enemy in one-minute or less dances for Instagram. And while nothing can replace the magic of dressing up, gathering, and performing in and/or going out to see live dance, dance on film is its own special art form, and welcome are the venues that will screen and support it. To date D2D has received submissions from the Netherlands, Tanzania, Rwanda, Switzerland, Finland, Mexico, Russia, Canada, the UK, and of course the US. We are so proud to once again be promoting the exploration and creativity of this art form!
So now we come to you. If you have been enjoying dance films, and ScreenDance Diaries, we hope you will help us as we raise funds to support awards for these dance film artists, as well as a website where we can continue to promote them and their work.
Please go to: https://nextecho.org/donate/
Then write us at email@example.com with your name & donation amount.
Your donations of any amountare tax deductible to the full extent of the law. All donors will be acknowledged & thanked on ScreenDance Diaries at Cultural Weekly (www.culturalweekly.com).
For now please enjoy TECHNOLOGIC, a new submission made for Instagram from Scotland by previous D2D winning filmmaker, Jamiel Laurence with music by Daft Punk.
And check out all our one minute or less dance films on Instagram at @dare2danceinpublic
Feature photo from SOLITUDE by Hanna Mari Ojala of Finland. SOLITUDE was created in the basement laundry room of her apartment complex. Hanna was so excited by the D2D challenge she went upstairs, changed into another dress, and made yet another film in this same location.
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.