The festival day opened with Katie Johnston’s flipbook animation workshop. Specially tailored for dance artists, the workshop explored techniques to capture dance movement in drawing. Meanwhile, throughout the day the audience were invited to leave the buzz of the festival and enter Private Cinema Installations. Behind the velvety red curtains of the cinema booths, the viewer found an eclectic collection of short dance films.
The main festival screenings presented a diverse selection of documentaries. The films documented mature dance company Three Score’s performance at Brighton Rail Station; an exchange of dance between children in Hackney and New Orleans; a moving tale between a Mexican and a Taiwanese dancer; and the dedication and devotion of three prominent Hip Hop dancers. While the emphasis was still on dance, the documentaries provided a revealing insight into the lives and struggles of the artists.
The following three programmes proved to be an extremely vibrant mix of dance films. While some films experimented purely with the relationship between movement and camera, others, like Antoine Marc & Drew Cox’s Descent and Shireen Talhouni & Ali Al-Saadi’s Sarmad, provided moments of stunning visual beauty. Other dance films dealt honestly with issues of womanhood, disability, sexual empowerment, control and cultural tradition. Overall, a hugely exciting and international mixture of dance films.
The festival day closed with commissioned dance works from innovative London based Protocol Dance Company, and unique video and animation team Garrett and Garrett Videography. Lastly, an on-the-day collaboration and screening of work by Mina Aidoo and Brian Gillespie revealed just how accessible dance film can be.
As well as making screendance highly accessible to viewers, Dance Film Festival UK fosters curiosity and inquisitiveness. The festival truly is an invaluable platform to inspire, engage and most importantly, excite artists about dance film.