Photo Credit: Victoria Sendra
I am thrilled to be curating this edition of Dances Made to Order, featuring three filmmakers that I admire and representing a broad spectrum of approaches to capturing dance on screen. Victoria Murphy comes from an experimental dance and theater background. She makes her “cinedances” with a scientist’s precision, distilling each frame to its essential properties. The result is pure poetry in motion. David Fishel comes from a film and post-production background. As an editor he identified with the craft of choreography, finding in both a sense of visual rhythm that he uses to tease out the emotional guts of his stories and deliver with a walloping punch. Victoria Sendra, a recent graduate from CalArt’s film school, has found a calling documenting dance with physically adventurous camera work that interacts with the choreography in surprising ways. All three of these artists have presented evenings at the Kinetic Cinema, and have already begun to communicate with each other about this project. As often happens in New York, a chance encounter can either end at the next subway stop, or lead to a life-long collaboration. I’m excited to see what happens when these artists are thrown into one pot, and what tasty films they will serve us.
Anna Brady Nuse has worked for the past 12 years as a choreographer, filmmaker, writer, and curator. She makes dances for screen through her production company Straight to the Helicopter, and directs Pentacle’s Movement Media. Currently she writes about dance and media for the blog, Move the Frame and curates the Kinetic Cinema screening series in New York. Her work has been screened in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and India.
A film that changed my life:
Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon. I saw it when I was at the American Dance Festival between my junior and senior year in college. Deren’s use of symbolic imagery completely spoke to my obsession with mythology and archetypes. At the time I had been struggling to choreograph for stage, because I kept wanting to alter the time/space continuum and that was nearly impossible to do live. Watching “Meshes” I realized that everything I wanted to achieve was easily accomplished through editing and camera framing. From then on my artistic path was set in motion.
A dance film that changed my life or a dance performance that changed my life:
A close second to Meshes of the Afternoon was seeing Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates at the Dance On Camera Festival in 2007. Like Deren’s film, it was not conceived as a “dance film,” but it was unquestionably choreographed for the camera. Parajanov made the film in Armenia on a tiny budget and was soon after censored and thrown into the Soviet Gulag. Like Deren’s work, I loved the film for its visual symbology and breath-taking beauty. After seeing it I became fascinated with capturing the stillness in very emotional moments.
A book that changed my life:
Books are constantly changing my life. Right now I am on page 630 of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. For the first three hundred pages I thought I wouldn’t make it to the end of this book, but imperceptibly the narrative spun a web around me and now I am hooked and hell bent on finishing it. I don’t know how it’s changed my life just yet, but when you read something so epic, it just lives in your subconscious brain like an undercurrent, floating you along. Someday I’ll look up and see two moons and I’ll know I’m living in 1Q84, and be so grateful I read this book.
Current pop-culture obsession(s):
TedTalks. YAKfilms Youtube channel (street dance is poised to take over the world). I’m still lamenting the end of The Wire and may never get over it. Zillow.com (I’m buying my first house – yikes!) IkeaHackers.net (a diy treasure trove).
Favorite flavor of ice-cream:
Mint chocolate chip (but lately I’ve been going for anything with coconut in it)
Favorite method of procrastination:
Looking at my daily horoscope on astro.com (it’s embarrassing, but I’m completely obsessed with astrology).
On a hot, humid summer night I like a frosty Margarita with fresh lime juice, a good smooth tequila (like Patron) and coarse sea salt.
Edition 26 is presented in partnership with