Disconnect to reconnect By Jillian Groening
WAKE TrailerWake directed by Katherine Macnaughton / Bis Films
Wake directed by Katherine Macnaughton / Bis Films


What happens when we disconnect from technology?

Wake, a short dance film choreographed by Ashley Werhun, explores through movement the isolation created by our smartphones. Set in a surreal public park space where leaves are a vibrant pink, a duet unfolds involving one dancer who is reluctant to lift her head from the anonymous action on her screen. Through detached partnering, Werhun evokes missed connections and moments lost when our eyes are glued to our devices. Another couple in the park dances with fluid, conversational movement, slowly prompting the isolated woman to look up and see the world around her.

Werhun, who is originally from Alberta and is now a dancer with Les Ballet Jazz de Montréal, performs in the film alongside dancers Mark Caserta, Gemma Freitas, Jeremy Coachman and Kiera Hill. Wake is directed by Katherine Macnaughton, co-founder of Bis Films and produced by Emmanuel Hessler.

The short film has been chosen to be presented at the Dance on Camera Festival, presented with Dance Films Association, in New York City. Dance on Camera runs February 3-7, 2017, and Wake will be shown in Shorts Program I on Saturday, February 4.

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