Dance is notoriously ephemeral art. Once a performance is done on the stage, it may never again appear quite the same way again, even if you can unite all the same dancers in the same circumstances with the same choreographer again. Early choreographers struggled with how to capture their work, coming up with elaborate and often obscure ways to notate the steps.
But dance mostly lives through the passing of the performance from one dancer to the next through stagers and teachers of a particular style.
However, in the 20th century, the advent of motion pictures made it possible to capture a more permanent record of performances. Many have then turned around and made the dance on film into its own art form as can be seen in a recent series created by Velocity Dancer Center and Northwest Film Forum.
Tonight’s selection of shorts at Next Dance Cinema Films includes several local favorites including a performance, 9andOne, by Babette Pendleton McGeady first seen at the Velocity Next Fest NW 2012.
Velocity founder and Lingo artistic director KT Niehoff produced Beneath Our Own Immensity—The Film featuring Ali Maricich, Ariana Bird, Becca Blackwell, Becca Green, Chantael Duke, Colleen McNeary, Ellen Cooper, Mariah Martens, Matt Drews, Nicole Daigle, Sarah Butler, and Whitney Hord. The performers navigate world of precarious wooden structures, dirt paths, massive columns, and rock walls.
Nightingale brings together dance, fashion and cinema in the fifth film collaboration of cinematographer Jacob Rosen and The YC, the multidisciplinary dance/performance company founded by Kate Wallich, who did the choreography for the film, and Lavinia Vago. The short receives its world premiere tonight at NWFF.
The evening also features winning selections from On the Boards’ 15-Second Dance Film Contest.
After tonight’s program of short, NWFF will screen Velocity 2013 A.I.R. Dayna Hanson’s full-length feature film Improvement Club for a week.
Next Dance Cinema is part of Velocity’s Next Fest NW: TOUCH, which runs for nine days of performances, screenings, installations and participatory audience labs that emphasize interaction and perceiption through the tactile senses.
Next Dance Cinema can be seen at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, tonight (Dec. 10) starting at 7 pm. Ticket prices range from $6 to $11.
To learn more about Next Fest NW: TOUCH, visit Velocity’s website.