ALL ARTS Presents Past, Present, Future Dance Film Festival with accessibility features
Three choreographers partnered with filmmakers to explore what past, present and future mean to them and their work.
ALL ARTS collaborated with A.I.M by Kyle Abraham; Pam Tanowitz and Kinetic Light to illuminate how each interpret various stages of time. Captured in three different films featured on May 9, 10 and 11, each program delves into dancers using time as motivation. To expand diverse audiences and their access to the arts, for this inaugural Past, Present, Future dance film festival, ALL ARTS is experimenting with accessibility (note below) and welcomes your feedback.
Past, Present, Future dance film festival lineup on ALL ARTS features:
“If We Were a Love Song” (Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m.)
Conceived by choreographer Kyle Abraham and set to some of Nina Simone's most intimate and stirring songs, If We Were a Love Song is a dance film that offers a cultural portrait of his company and community. Created in collaboration with A.I.M and filmmaker Dehanza Rogers, this series of poetic vignettes strips down Abraham's idiosyncratic and emotionally-driven movement to match the raw power of Simone's music, showing that deep grief and profound love often live in the same quiet moment. Accessibility elements for the film (audio descriptions, captions and ASL interpreters) were created by Bridge Multimedia.
“DANCERS (Slightly Out of Shape)” (Monday, May 10 at 8 p.m.)
Captured by filmmaker Liz Sargent’s verité lens, choreographer Pam Tanowitz and her dancers return to rehearsal during 2020’s pandemic. Tanowitz ponders the fleeting nature of performance and reimagines the future of her work on film. Audiences are given a rare look into the choreographer’s creation style. For its finale, the film shifts gears and features fully fledged excerpts from “Every Moment Alters,” which features music by Caroline Shaw. In contrast to the rehearsal process, Tanowitz describes the style of the final dance as polished and cinematic. Accessibility elements for the film (audio descriptions, captions and ASL interpreters) were created by Bridge Multimedia.
“One + One Make Three” (Tuesday, May 11 at 8 p.m.)
Director Katherine Helen Fisher’s documentary/dance film, with acclaimed disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light, includes innovative experimentation in which access is as challenging, provocative, and beautiful as the art itself. This film takes audiences behind the scenes, into the studio, and into the air. Dancers partner, spin, and soar, as they reflect on art, dance, and disability as a creative force. Featuring dance artists Jerron Herman, Laurel Lawson, and Alice Sheppard; artist/ASL interpreter Brandon Kazen-Maddox; and audio describer Cheryl Green. The broadcast version of this film integrates ASL and Open Captions and optionally available Enhanced Audio Description. The film is available in four versions online: ASL + Open Captions + Audio Description; ASL only; Open Captions + Audio Description; and Open Captions only. An audio file of Audio Description and transcripts will also be available.
Accessibility is central to this film. Accessibility elements of the film were created in collaboration between Kinetic Light and Safety Third Productions. Kinetic Light’s ongoing research and development of aesthetic artistic accessibility can be flexibly experienced in this film through two streams of ASL interpretation, multi-voiced enhanced audio description, and integrated open captions. Kinetic Light crafts these access approaches as an integral part of the company’s art, in collaboration with other disabled artists and community members. Access offerings are intentionally designed to be as challenging, provocative, overwhelming, and beautiful as the art itself.
During this difficult time with many performances canceled, the Festival provides dancers an opportunity to envision something new in video form. Audiences will have the rare opportunity to witness a time capsule of thought, process and artistry of the choreographers, in addition to insights into how these artists view the past, present and future at a challenging current moment.
Photo: Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third Productions.