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A Postcard From "Dances Made to Order"

A Postcard From "Dances Made to Order"

By Kingsley Irons

Published on March 19, 2012

A Little Show and Tell

A Little Show and Tell from Kingsley Irons and our enthusiastic partners at: DANCES MADE TO ORDER

Last month New York dance and film artists: Kelly Bartnik and Geoffrey Ehrlich ,Hanaah Frechette, and Mayuna Shimizu were chosen by Zach Morris, of the Dance Films Associations Dance Film Lab to create "Dances Made to Order" based around topics selected by the groups' audience members. After only two weeks, these intrepid film artists made pieces inspired by: wine bottles, skeletal remains, an hour glass; still amidst surrounding chaos, and doppelgngers.

Here in "A Postcard For The Dance Enthusiast" the participating film makers give us a sneak peak at their work and share a bit of their process. They also tell us what they would like to ask for if they could order the dance film of their dreams.


Geoffrey Ehrlich and Kelly Bartnik created, reins




On creating reins :


Geoffrey Ehrlich says, "This was a very reinvigorating experience for me. It was so refreshing to have some restrictions in creating. For so long, the work that we were collaborating on has been so open ended that it was hard to think where to start. "Dances Made to Order" created a great launching off point. It has been a while since Kelly and I created a video, so more than anything, this experience has rekindled out passion for collaborating.


Kelly Bartnik says ,"The biggest challenge was the time constraint, but ultimately I think Geoff and I work well under pressure and there's nothing like a deadline to keep you motivated. The greatest joy was getting to work with Geoff again - we're really good friends, but it had been quite some time since we'd collaborated on a project. We also have an amazing group of friends who we called upon to bring their talents to the shoot. It's incredibly satisfying to watch everyone work together. I don't think anything unexpected happened during the creation; amazingly, it all sort of went according to plan."

What kind of dance made to order would you order?

Geoffrey Ehrlich says, " Honestly, I love watching Kelly dance more than anyone else. And if I was really able to dream up who would make a dance film for me it would be Chris Cunningham. His music videos for Aphex Twin have been lifelong inspiration for me. It would be really neat to expand upon the doppelganger idea we had in this recent project. It would be neat to actually use other dancers and make them look like Kelly with protheses and special effects to make an army of doppelgngers, of all shapes and sizes."
Kelly Bartnik says, " In general I tend to be drawn toward dance that isn't very 'dancey' so I'd want a subject that has some sort of narrative or is abstracted from the notion of movement for movement's sake. Ultimately, I love working with Geoff, so I'd definitely want to collaborate with him and then if I could choose anyone for us to work with? Let's just go big and say Matthew Barney. And I can't lie - I'm a performer at heart. I'd totally want to be in it."


Mayuna Shimizu and Collaborators created, In Between


On Creating In Between:

What was challenging about the experience?

Mayuna Shimizu says, "Definitely the fact that we had to make a film in two weeks and prepare : location scouting, casting, think about music etc. all that was a challenge. My mind never stopped working. We creators have an idea ( of what we will do) but we never know how it’s going to come out. I wondered, should I trust my instincts or play it safe? Juggling those feelings is always a challenge. There was a shower scene that I wanted to do a long time ago, but I couldn’t find the right moment or location. It was joy to work with talented collaborators to create the film. Since I agreed to do this last year, my friends have been supporting me in many ways behind the scenes. I have to mention that I appreciate their advice and opinions. Collaborating is tough, but it was nice to explore the possibilities patiently- as always.

What kind of dance made to order would you order?

Mayuna Shimizu says, “Dreamlessness” is a theme I am interested in. I’d like to watch film/ dance by Choe Seung-hui/ Sai ShAkiwho studied modern dance in Japan and developed her own modern dances inspired byher roots in Korean folk dances. I would like the film to be directed by David Lynch. Many of you already know that David Lynch’s cinematic imagery is dreamy, mysterious, and surreal with violent elements and calculated sound design.
Choe Seung-hui/ Sai ShAki‘s life was complicated. She was born in 1911 in Korea, when that nation was underJapaneseruleas part ofJapan's 35-year imperialist expansion . She then disappeared from view in 1967. I think she must have had lots of scattered dreams during that time when the war caused her life to be turned upside down. I wonder how David Lynch would "paint" a film of Choe Seung-hui/ Sai ShAki's hidden emotional dance.


Hanaah Frechette created,Untimely




On Creating,Untimely:


Hannah Frechette says, "It was both a joy and challenge to wear so many hats in such a short amount of time: choreographer, dancer, videographer, and editor. To have my brain going in that many different creative directions simultaneously while trying to maintain some semblance of organization or production schedule was a struggle. But, the struggle was part of the fun! My beautiful and talented dancers really made my job a hundred time easier.They were creatively engaged and offered invaluable feedback, plus support and laughs whenever needed. I even conquered a fear of heights by dancing on a roof ledge.

The last day we were filming there was, well, pretty much of tornado outside . The beautifully sunny morning had us all fooled until we found ourselves lying in a cold sandbox getting pummeled by wind. That was not how I envisioned the day to go at all. However,to my great pleasure, it worked out perfectly. The wind became the "surrounding chaos" that was a required menu item for my film. It felt very appropriate to finish off a whirlwind two weeks of work by being caught in a literal wind storm!

What kind of dance made to order would your order?

If I could order a dance film I would want it to be done by Andy and Dionne Noble. Dionne was one of my professors who taught my first (and unfortunately only) dance technology class at Florida State University. She is probably the only reason I had a film to show at the end of this process . Thank god I'm a pack rat and kept ALL of my old school notes to refer back to. She and Andy are both seriously talented artists in their own right and when they work together, it's brilliant. They are a perfect example of a harmonious dance/technology relationship. Who would I want to star in my film? Ishmael Houston Jones. Why? Because he's a rock star.
Some topics that I would like to watch: adrenaline, phobias and ecstasy.



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Tickets for Dances Made to Order can be purchased for a season (0) or single month (0).
Artists get the majority share—65% total—of each ticket sold with Dances Made to Order covering all administrative costs.
The new Dances Made to Order website (launching soon) is powered by open source tech and Brightcove for fast, universally supported video.


In 2012, Dances Made to Order proudly partners with local artists and arts organizations in 11 different US cities who will each select three artists that highlight their city’s unique dance culture.
The cities and curatorial partners for the 2012 season of Dances Made to Order are:

January — Los Angeles. Curated by Kingsley Irons, producer of Dances Made to Order
February — New York. Curated by Zach Morris of Dance Films Association's Dance Film Lab.
March — Salt Lake City. Curated by Ashley Anderson of loveDANCEmore
April — Atlanta. Curated by Malina Rodriguez of Dance Truck and The Lucky Penny
May — Chicago. Curated by The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago
June — Boston. Curated by Alissa Cardone of Kinodance
July — Minneapolis. Curated by Laurie Van Wieren, choreographer and producer of 9x22 Dance/Lab
August — Philadelphia. Curated by d. Sabela Grimes in partnership with Philadelphia Dance Projects
September — San Francisco. Curated by ODC Theater a October — New Orleans. Curated by Diogo De Lima, choreographer and filmmaker
November — Austin. Curated by Ellen Bartel of Spank Dance Company


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