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That's a Wrap II

Dancefilms created during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Meghann Michalsky, Tania Alvarado and Nicole Charlton Goodbrand in Made Up / Photo by Alexander J. Slobodian

Dancefilm, as an art form, is by no means a new medium, but after theatres were shut down and choreographers and dancers found themselves without a stage, an impressive amount of dancefilms were produced. So, to wrap up the year, we are celebrating the persistence of dance communities across Canada and showcasing some of the dancefilms created during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here for more dancefilms. 

 

Pursuit

Fogo Island, Newfoundland 

Choreographer, director and producer: Lynn Panting 

Collaborators: Mark White, Hilary Walsh, Kevin Woolridge, Vanessa Cardoso Whelan, Kailey Bryan, Colin Furlong, Alex Abbott

Composer: Sean Panting 

Videographer and editor: Ritche Perez 

Presented in partnership with Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre in September, click here for details

Exploring isolation, transgression and community, Pursuit was filmed on an abandoned airstrip on Fogo Island. “The collaborators on this project purposefully come from different backgrounds, disciplines and artistic practices: dance, clown, theatre, architecture, drag, music and poetry, to name a few,” says Lynn Panting. “The film is important because it is a reflection of and a reaction to the status quo. Seven figures stand apart – because they must. The score is dense with pressure and panic – because we are. There is a collective breath – because we need one.” 

Artists in Pursuit / Photo by Ritche Perez

Artists in Pursuit / Photo by Ritche Perez

Vanessa Cardoso Whelan in Pursuit / Photo by Ritche Perez

Artists in Pursuit / Photo by Ritche Perez

 

Tenderley

Calgary

Creator and performer: Jocelyn Mah with Notdog Duchesne 

Composer: Nathaniel Chiang 

Presented by Dancers’ Studio West’s Quick + Dirty Festival in July

Tenderley is a stop-motion film made of more than 1100 stills taken on an iPhone 5. The film tells a story of a loving relationship between a girl and her dog. “I aim to make work the transports audience members to another place, a music-dance wonderland, away from their worries, even just for a few minutes,” says Mah. 

Jocelyn Mah and Notdog Duchesne in Tenderly

Jocelyn Mah and Notdog Duchesne in Tenderly

Jocelyn Mah and Notdog Duchesne in Tenderly

 

Made Up

Calgary

Creator: Linnea Swan 

Dancers: Meghann Michalsky, Tania Alvarado, Nicole Charlton Goodbrand 

Presented by Dancers’ Studio West’s Quick + Dirty Festival

Photographer: Alexander J. Slobodian

Made Up is the culmination of Swan’s two-year residency at Dancers’ Studio West. “The work itself addresses female representation, internalized patriarchy and lateral violence through the deconstructed imagery and central themes of classic fairy tales,” Swan says. The film will be screened November 19th through 22nd at cSPACE King Edward for a small audience. 

Nicole Charlton Goodbrand in Made Up / Photo by Alexander J. Slobodian

Meghann Michalsky in Made Up / Photo by Alexander J. Slobodian

Tania Alvarado in Made Up / Photo by Alexander J. Slobodian

 

What’s Next? 

Montréal and Toronto 

Creators and performers: Sonya Stefan and Newton Moraes 

Presented by Pervers/Cité in August 

Available on Vimeo 

2gather-a-part is a collective born out of the COVID-19 pandemic and has since produced the film series Co-vid 19 exquisite corpse no 10. Since it began, the collective has raised more than $2200 for artists impacted by COVID-19. 

Included in the series is Moraes and Stefan’s nineteen-second film celebrating continuous friendship and love during the global pandemic. The duo made the film over the internet (Moraes lives in Toronto and Stefan lives in Montréal) with the help of a homemade green screen. 

Sonya Stefan and Newton Moraes in What’s Next?

Sonya Stefan and Newton Moraes in What’s Next?

Sonya Stefan and Newton Moraes in What’s Next?

 

Makhelwane 

Georgetown, Ontario

Director and videographer: Kwasi Obeng 

Dancers: Janice Ellis and Martin Prempeh 

Available on Vimeo

Showing two friends encountering a spiritual force in an abandoned warehouse, Makhelwane (the Zulu term for “one’s neighbour”) is named after a song by Prince Bulo. “It was created to bring attention and awareness to the African dance culture that is not noticed or recognized in the commercial dance industry,” says Obeng. “Often overlooked is the fact that African dance is rooted in many other styles of dance including modern, jazz and hip hop.” 

Janice Ellis in Makhelwane / Photo by Kwasi Obeng

Janice Ellis in Makhelwane / Photo by Kwasi Obeng

Martin Prempeh in Makhelwane / Photo by Kwasi Obeng

 

Editorial of a dancer 

Montréal

Director: Juan David Padilla Vega 

Dancer: Célestin Boutin

Producer: Jimena Pacheco

Production: Urniator Studio 

Available on YouTube

“The film is a small invitation to stop, contemplate and think. It’s another way of doing an interview, through artistic practice and lines of thought; that’s why I call it a portrait of a dancer,” Vega says. “Les Grands Ballets Canadiens soloist Célestin Boutin draws perspective on his inner world through the body.” 

Célestin Boutin in Editorial of a dancer

Célestin Boutin in Editorial of a dancer

Célestin Boutin in Editorial of a dancer

 

~

La cinédanse n’en est pas à son premier tour de piste comme forme d’art. Mais avec la fermeture des salles de spectacles, les chorégraphes et interprètes se sont trouvé.e.s sans scène. S’ensuit la réalisation d’une quantité impressionnante de productions en cinédanse. Pour clore l’année, nous célébrons la persistance des communautés de danse au Canada et mettons en vedette certains films créés pendant la pandémie de COVID-19.

~

This photo essay appears in the November/December 2020 issue

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