[dance-tech] EMPAC announces DANCE MOViES Commission recipients

  • From: Hélène Lesterlin <hlesterlin@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 12:43:04 -0400

Dear friends, colleagues and artists,

I am pleased to share with you the news on the most recent recipients of EMPAC's commissioning program for dance on screen works!

This is the third group of works in our DANCE MOViES Commission: the first four works are currently touring, the next four works will premier at EMPAC in November 2009, and now these new FIVE works are slated for premieres in the fall of 2010!



Hélène Lesterlin (Curator, Dance, EMPAC)
inquiries: 518.276.3918 / lesteh@xxxxxxx (do not publish)


Troy, NY—In one work, three street kids in the streets of Rio seem to juggle air; in another, a dancer and an incandescent hoop rotate in a black void; and in another, multiple video screens installed side by side layer film samples and a dancer’s gestures to create counterpoints of movement and image.

EMPAC – the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - announces the 5 recipients of the EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission 2009-2010. Chosen out of 69 project proposals by an international panel of dance-film practitioners, curators and producers, the projects range in format, style and emotional tone: from three-channel video installation to studio-based video shoots to urban interventions.

The projects will receive awards ranging from $10,000 to $23,000 and will premiere in the fall of 2010 at EMPAC.

The DANCE MOViES Commission is a program launched by EMPAC to support the creation of new works in which dance meets the technologies of the moving image. As the first major commissioning program for dance film established in the US in 2007, it is having a significant national and international impact, making the creation of new works possible. The first four DANCE MOViES Commissions were premiered at EMPAC’s opening celebration in October 2008 and are currently touring to international festivals. The next four projects are in production and will premiere this coming November.

EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission 2009-2010 Recipients
(in alphabetical order of titles, with a brief description of the projects and panelists’ comments)

Anatomy of Melancholy, Mexico, 10 minutes
Director:  Nuria Fragoso
Two contrasting spaces – one light and open, the other constrained and dark – form the built environment for dancers moving against expectation. Visual metaphors about spaces and intentions. “A collaborative group of young Mexican artists presents a very clear and concrete proposal, with an extremely strong aesthetic sense centered upon the body in space.”

HOOP, Canada, 4 minutes
Director: Marites Carino, Choreographer/Performer: Rebecca Halls, Composer: Anthony Tan, D.O.P.: Donald Robitaille A woman floats in a black void, swinging through shafts of light, keeping in perpetual motion an incandescent and familiar circular childhood toy. “A compact, visually dynamic, playful, movement portrait, chosen for the clarity of its intent and the crispness of its imagery.”
 (This project was also awarded the BravoFACT! commission in Canada)

MO-SO, USA, 12 minutes - looping video installation
Director: Kasumi, Composer: Fang Man, Dancer: Chan U Hong
A three-channel video installation for film samples and dancer. Fragmentary and symbolically charged images serve as a basis for improvisation by the dancer. The footage of the dancer is then fed back into the polyphonic narrative, musical and choreographic structure. “This three-channel video expands the definition of a dance screen project. The panel appreciated the way it captures a sense of the movement chaos that surrounds us in contemporary culture.”

Q, USA, 12 minutes
Director/Choreographer: Rajendra Serber
In this exploration of urban isolation, three men trace their solitary paths through empty streets at night. When the strangers try to pass each other by, they become locked in anonymous antagonism. “A movement-based study, Q grows from improvisation and choreography in real time, drawing on the choreography of editing.”
The closer one gets, the less one sees, Brazil, 12 minutes
Videomaker: Valeria Valenzuela, Choreographer: Lilyen Vass, Production: Aura Films Intervention in the everyday lives of three jugglers/beggars, who get together at the traffic lights on a street crossing in the city of Rio de Janeiro, transforms the objective action of their juggling into the abstract vocabulary of contemporary dance. “Working with young street jugglers in Rio and transforming their utilitarian movement into contemporary dance, this team provides a transparent proposal, a track record with documentary style filmmaking, and an intriguing concept.”

The selection panel comprised Magne Antonsen (Norway), Kelly Hargraves (USA), Nayse Lopez (Brazil), Elizabeth Zimmer (USA), and Hélène Lesterlin, Curator for Dance at EMPAC. Bios of the panelist available at http://www.empac.rpi.edu/commissions/DMC/2009/index.html

The Commission is supported by EMPAC’s Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and the Performing Arts. It is open to artists based in North and South America who are making video, film and installation work.

Statistics for DMC 2009-2010

Selected from 69 applications, of which 28 were short-listed, the 5 funded projects represent the third round of awards given out through the EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission. In this year’s pool, 51 of initial proposals came from the US, 7 from Canada, 4 from Argentina, 3 from Brazil, and 2 from Mexico.

For more information on DANCE MOViES Commission, as well as the list of shortlisted projects visit: http://empac.rpi.edu/commissions/DMC/

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