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An Embrace Between Dance and Film

Thursday, January 4-----Annie Leibovitz, the superstar photographer, has famously said that dance is the one medium that is almost impossible to correctly capture via the still photograph. Because of its key element, movement in space, it is much better suited for the moving picture format. That speaks directly to lovers of dance and dance on film who should revel in the Dance on Camera Festival, which premieres this week at New York’s Walter Reade Theater. Screenings continue this week through Sunday, January 7th, with more treats on January 12th and 13th.

Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center are presenting the 11th annual Dance on Camera Festival, which includes thirteen New York premieres and several retrospectives that spotlight the collaborative work between filmmakers, choreographers and dancers. Some of the most exciting artistic partnerships include Japanese artists Eiko and Koma, choreographing for Cambodian students of painting; a classically trained Russian ballerina attempting to respond creatively to the aesthetic demands of Bill T. Jones; and American expatriate Josephine Baker making the leap from Harlem musical revues and the Broadway chorus to international fame as a top entertainer in Paris music halls and the star of French films of the 1930s.

Dance Films Association celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Founded in 1956 by the late Susan Braun, it has come into its own as an important arts and education organization with its own touring program. The Festival has been a New York staple for the past 35 years, with the Film Society of Lincoln Center involved for the past eleven years. The series is programmed by Deirdre Towers and Anna Brady Nuse of Dance Films Association and Joanna Ney of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Capezio-Ballet Makers Foundation and the Howard Gilman Foundation.

A special panel discussion will be held at the Donnell Media Center of the New York Public Library on West 53rd Street on Tuesday, January 9th at 6:00pm. Entitled FROM CUTTING A RUG TO THE CUTTING ROOM, the panel, moderated by Kelly Hargraves of arthouse distributor First Run Features, will discuss how the kinetic body and mind of dancers has infiltrated the mainstream through editing of TV and film.
The panel is free of charge, and includes Maryann Brandon (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III), Monica Gillette (THE SOPRANOS, LAW AND ORDER), Robbie Shaw (BITTERSWEET) and Karen Pearlman (THURSDAY’S FICTIONS).

For more information on this year’s Dance on Camera Festival, log on to Film Society of Lincoln Center or Dance Films Association.

Sandy Mandelberger
Film New York Editor

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Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

The Ultimate Guide to the New York Film, Video and New Media Scene.

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