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Jody Sperling's dancefilm "Single Use" to be Featured in the 2021 Harlem International Film Festival - 5/6-5/9

Jody Sperling's dancefilm "Single Use" to be Featured in the 2021 Harlem International Film Festival - 5/6-5/9


Jody Sperling


Live and virtual
AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 Theaters, 2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd


Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 5:50pm daily through May 9, 2021



Jody Sperling

Choreographer Jody Sperling’s dancefilm “Single Use” 
to be featured in the 2021 Harlem International Film Festival. 
Opening Night In-Person Screening with Audience Q & A 
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 5:50pm
Virtual Screenings Friday-Sunday, May 7-9


Jody Sperling’s dance film “Single Use” is an official selection of the 2021 Harlem International Film Festival, with screenings May 6-9, 2021. The opening night screening on Thursday, May 6 at 5:50pm will be an in-person red carpet event featuring an audience Q&A at the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 Theaters (2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd). Following the premiere, “Single Use” will be available for virtual screenings Friday, May 7 through Sunday, May 9, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Harlem Film Festival website

Sharing an environmental theme, “Single Use” is a kinetic response to the problem of plastic pollution. The Covid-era film shows Sperling donning an outfit fashioned from over 150 reclaimed plastic bags to romp and roll down a normally bustling stretch of Broadway, here eerily free of traffic due to the pandemic. Skittering and careening across the asphalt, she transforms into blossoming organic forms. Demonstrating the beauty of that—and who—our society throws away, the piece offers a meditation on the nature of disposability and resuscitation. The film’s subtle score is by environmental composer Matthew Burtner.

“Single Use” will be featured in a program with the North American premiere of Anne Via McCollough’s Full Circle, a documentary celebrating Helen Hays’ Great Gull Island Project, a 50-year quest to save two species of threatened seabirds.

A hybrid event, the 16th edition of the Harlem International Film Festival presents a celebrated showcase of relatively undiscovered international cinematic gems and local New York filmmaking talent and lead into virtual screenings of 71 films and more (31 features, 32 shorts, 2 VR/360 projects, and 6 webisodes) representing over 17 countries. 

Due to Covid precautions, the seating-capacity for the festival’s in-person screenings was reduced to only 50 live attendees. To accommodate viewing demand, the festival’s live-screened films will be available for online viewing after the premiere date.


About the Artists

Jody Sperling (choreographer) is a NYC-based dancer-choreographer and the Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance. She has created more than 45 works and is the leading exponent of the style of early performance technologist Loïe Fuller (1862-1928). Sperling has expanded Fuller’s genre into the 21st century, deploying it in the context of contemporary and environmental performance forms. Sperling earned a World Choreography Award nomination for her work on the French feature film “The Dancer'' and was commissioned to create new work featured in a forthcoming Fuller documentary. In 2014, Sperling participated in a polar science mission—as the first choreographer-in-residence aboard a US Coast Guard icebreaker—and danced on Arctic sea ice. Since then much of Sperling’s artistic work has focused on engaging with climate change. Currently, Sperling is developing a dance practice called ecokinetics that cultivates the relationship between the moving body and environmental systems while providing strategies for climate-engaged artmaking. 

Matthew Burtner (composer) is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist who creates music from materials and data of climate change, particularly related to the Arctic. Burtner spent his childhood in the far north of Alaska and this profoundly shaped his musical language. He is a pioneer in the field of eco- acoustics and has worked extensively with systems of climatology applied to music. His work has recently been featured by NASA, National Geographic, the US State Department, Earther, and the Ringling Museum. First Prize Winner of the Musica Nova International competition, and an NEA Art Works and IDEA Award winner, Burtner's music has received honors and prizes from Bourges (France), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), Darmstadt (Germany) and The Russolo (Italy) international competitions. He teaches composition and computer music at the University of Virginia, and directs the environmental arts non-profit organization, EcoSono (ecosono.org). For more information, visit matthewburtner.com. 

Time Lapse Dance (TLD) is an all-women 501(c)3 dance company founded by Sperling in 2000. TLD envisions dance as a powerful force that can help move us toward a more embodied, sustainable and equitable future. The work aims to investigate the relationship of the moving body to the ecologies we inhabit through performance, media, education, and activism.

Celebrating the art of cinema in the home of the Harlem Renaissance, The Harlem International Film Festival (Hi) inspires and entertains by honoring dynamic films by anyone about anything under the sun. Conceived from the belief that we all have unique experiences and perspectives to share, the Festival actively seeks and exhibits fresh work. Hi is committed to exemplifying the eminence that Harlem represents and is dedicated to bringing attention to the finest filmmakers from Harlem and across the globe.

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