Dance (Lens) — The House These Films Built
Unluckily, due to the Melbourne lockdowns, Dancehouse will not be able to have live screenings of the Dance (Lens) program between 29 July–29 August.
Film is the closest medium to the diary, scribbled with the grammar of household documentation. For Dance (Lens), let’s consider how films are building sites of self. Curated by André Shannon, this selection takes viewers through a rebel Soviet kitchen, a dining room of knee padded clowns, into a possessed sleepover, and through a Grindr date for flowers. In the pursuit of autonomy comes obedience, disobedience and a romance of the body. Filmmaking is lowkey pedagogy.
SUBJECTS — FlucT
Sigrid Lauren and Monica Mirabile are FlucT: a dance duo wielding intimate moves with semi-violent inflections. SUBJECTS is a 24-minute video featured in their multimedia exhibition is it god or am i dog? (2018) staged at SIGNAL (NY).
The first time I saw FlucT’s video work (on Instagram) I was struck by a spotlit group of forest dwelling clowns, somersaulting to Oops!… I Did It Again. Harsh lights outlined girl group wrestlers in something truly Godney. Their performances are staged in identifiable-turned-menacing places that become sites of American civil disobedience. Energetic skin-to-skin tumbles, acrobatic flip-flopping; you get the gist. In the words of Sigrid Lauren, FlucT uses “movement to stab at existential qualms”. The stab becomes survival, recognising oppressive forces while using force against them. SUBJECTS discovers a Blair Witch as two knee-padded homewreckers; because for FlucT, culture is not that innocent.
Scum Ballet Is Lost — Scum Ballet
Inside a lonely apartment, Scum Ballet have a sleepover. The year is 2017. The gang, delirious from process, are unable to shake the feeling that they have possessed… each other.
Scum Ballet Is Lost lies at the crossScumction of Dance-On-Screen and Videodance. A possessed document awakened four years later, this is the remaining puzzle piece in Scum’s bewitching residency at Campbelltown Arts Centre… Or is it? The film is evidence as found footage, a temporal ellipsis by way of 5 dancers: a five-way body-swap home-movie. Scum Ballet wield sticks and knives. Call it gentle violence on gym mats. This is what happened off stage. Two shots miss; the third one hits.
Choreographer: Angela Goh
Performers: Angela Goh, Eugene Choi, Ellen Davies, Ivey Wawn and Verity Mackey
Editor: Jen Atherton
Made in residence at Campbelltown Arts Centre in 2017
Real Real #4, Flora 4 Flora (2019) — Enoch Mailangi, Amrita Hepi & Future Method Studio
A native wattle and an introduced rose meet online. To quote Enoch Mailangi, “these two plants just exist… #itscomplicated”
Enoch Mailangi, Amrita Hepi and Future Method Studio collaborated on a live-streamed tragedy of class, race and grindr popularity, staged at Campbelltown Arts Centre. A basketball dribble of construction and destruction, Flora 4 Flora is Live Cinema and Live Dance ahead of its time (look at the pov live performance Ari just released). Covered in thought-vomit-bubble poetry, “live” is still “live”, even if it’s recorded, and intimacy, just like colonialism, leaves its mark, even after it ghosts. Immortalised online by a pixelated stream, Flora combines dance, architecture and video in a layered Jumanji board of euphoric romance that runs deeper than the dick it’s trying to get.
Lead Artists: Enoch Mailangi, Amrita Hepi and Future Method Studio (Genevieve Murray and Joel Sherwood-Spring)
Performers: Joseph Althouse and Gussy
Real Real is a Campbelltown Arts Centre project, originally devised by Dr. Jessica Olivieri.
I Want To Make a Film About Women — Dr. Karen Pearlman
Filmmaker and dancer Karen Pearlman imagines the daily life of Soviet filmmakers in the kitchen of pioneer editor Esfir Shub. This speculative 1920s-set short film explores the silenced genius of feminist editors, suffocating under Stalin and auteurism. Their kitchens were their cutting rooms in which daily routines became choreographic. Movements of the body were inscribed onto film stock and lost to film history. This is a film about early cinema and how bodies manifest chasms of socio-political discontent.
“Maybe for them, body to body, was a way for them to communicate … create”
Writer, director and editor: Karen Pearlman
Producers: Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman
Starring: Victoria Haralabidou
Featuring: Liliya May, Inga Romantsova, Violette Ayad, Eva Sliter, Nadia Zwecker, Tug Dumbly and Richard James Allen
Dancers: Jay Bailey, Clémence Dugué, Clarissa Harrison, Olivia Kingston, Billie Moffat
Cinematographer: Meg White
Production Designer: Valentina lastrebova
Costume Designer: Valentina Serebrennikova
Visual effects: Pavel Trotsenko
Sound Editors: Andy Wright & Leah Katz, Soundfirm
Music: Caitlin Yeo
A Physical TV Company Production
(Focus) — Me + Time
The Public Program Me + Time includes conversations with Dr. Karen Pearlman (video essay), Justin Shoulder (artwork walk-through) and Bhenji Ra (live interview) on their thinking, priorities and intentions when creating screendance works. This section’s (focus) is pedagogy and skill sharing for practitioners and enthusiasts outside of the Academy. At the centre of these talks will be the return to materials, grating against forms, redefining filmmaking as something closer to expression, editing as choreography and the unconventional methods through which dance can inform the cinematic process.
André Shannon is a Canberra turned Sydney based filmmaker, broadcast film critic and festival curator. His works showcase queer chaos in no-budget productions, often in the context of Resourceful Cinema as a boycott of industry standards. These films have screened internationally at Montreal World Film Festival, SIFF, pornfilmfestival Berlin, and in New York at the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts. His collective collaborations with artist Jen Atherton as Garden Reflexxx have featured at Vivid, Art, Not Apart, Seventh Gallery, Pari, Knox St Window, Dead End Film Festival and in regular screenings at Pink Flamingo Cinema through their quarterly festival Garden Reflexxx Presents. Following two film critic mentorships (MIFF, IFFR) André has programmed for MIFF, Slamdance, and published criticism in Junkee, Berlin Critic’s Week, Zürich Moves!, Sissy Screens and Rough Cut. Currently, André co-hosts the film segment Movies, Movies, Movies on FBi 94.5 and is in post-production on a mid-length feature.
Dance (Lens) — Official Selection #1
6 films from the Dance (Lens) Festival Official Selection
Dance (Lens) — Official Selection #2
7 films from the Dance (Lens) Festival Official Selection