Exploring Dance Film
Having watched hundreds of dance shorts, questions arise: what even is a dance film? Which requirements have to be met for a film to be called a dance film rather than a performance documentary, music video or an experimental film?
These questions don’t have straightforward answers. Our selection is not a conclusive or academic introduction to the genre, nor does it only reach for subjective taste. We have put together works in which the body creates the space and circumstances for the author to expand on a topic of their choice.
With very diverse sensibilities and aesthetics, these shorts emanate from the body’s expressiveness, centring around the body as an instrument for communicating an idea. With that criteria fulfilled, we searched for different themes, originality and authenticity.
Dance film is a niche genre that is becoming increasingly popular. The rules have not been set, and there is plenty to discover.
Underground is an introspection of freedom, culture and identity through the minds of raw battle b-boys in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oh Boy! is based on the dance piece by Antonin Rioche.
“”Loneliness. For some of you, the word may not be very familiar, but the feeling, though, you know it quite well.“”
Inspired by Las Criadas de Monterroso (Monterroso’s Maids), this short film combining fiction and screen dance presents a maid ballerina embodying the voices of two stock radio drama lovers who plan to murder her with their own hands.
On a theatrical setting and in one circular, travelling shot, objectivity becomes biased as the body struggles to expose all that is incorporeal, and the question arises as to where the limits between mind and expression are.
The Golden Age
In a series of workshops, children with motor disabilities experiment with various dance techniques and virtual reality glasses to see what dancers see.
Bang, an awkward, tempestuous study of the collision of two bodies, has won both Finnish and Norwegian competitions.
A man in white-winged angel shoes in an infinite black space is awakened by the strains of Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz” (“The Dance of the Dead”). He gets multiplied and manipulated through all the dimensions of infinite black. None of the incarnations of his body have free will as he is thrown, bounced, split, squelched, flopped, frozen, and slid through multitudinous geometries by an unknown force, finally to be returned to his original form and spat out onto the junk heap of history. Could the insistent music be a god manipulating him in this afterlife? Would a breakout lead him to a better world or just another incarnation of himself as a puppet?
The young girls Liya and Beza do the hula hoop; Habtamnesh does the aerial hoop; and the boy Beniyam, who is only five years old, performs acrobatics – these are some of the kids who are great circus artists in the magnificent landscapes of Ethiopia. This film about them is punctuated with everyday scenes of rural and city life.
This dance horror film is a response to D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. Griffith’s film is an assertion of white cultural and intellectual supremacy, a call to arms against the changing social/racial structure of the United States. Our film is an exploration of white-victimhood and its enduring viral effect on American politics and relationships. Through choreography, it tells the story of a white family’s descent into madness.