Dance Film

Immersed in Movement in Movies

SubRosa Dance Collective in promo image for Living the Room.

Movement and Flow offers six Portland dance films worth seeing.

Tonight at Whitsell Auditorium, Northwest Film Center shall put on a concert of a half dozen contemporary dance performances. By “concert” I mean screening, and by “performances” I mean movies. It is an important distinction, but I want to consider how this screening is similar to going to a concert.

It’s not infrequent that a dance troupe might sell tickets to a concert featuring several unique pieces of choreography, typically with a long feature work, a solo, a duet, something new, and something old. That is what you get in this screening entitled Movement and Flow: a spread of works that amounts to a solid 74 minutes.

There are some special benefits to this work being offered on film rather than on stage. For one, you have bang for your buck. Such a stage show could be $35-75 per seat, but the standard NWFC ticket price is $9. Plus, the dancers are on the big screen, magnifying their bodies and movements in a way we don’t when we view them on stage.

A different measure of quantity could be the sheer volume of hands at work to make this happen. In addition to the dancers, there is the collaboration with the filmmakers, bringing lighting, cameras, other techs, and producers to the performance. This screening is the result of something like a hundred hands. Take that, stage show!

This screening is the result of something like a hundred hands. Take that, stage show!

I watched three of the six films; specifically the three that are not publicly available. These three make the bulk of the collection.

“Living the Room: Dance for Film” is the big feature, clocking in at 32 minutes, a collaboration between SubRosa Dance Collective and Design by Goats. It brings together several pieces choreographed under the roof of a 103-year old house, with the exception of a bathtub juxtaposed to an open field. Each member of the collective put their heart into their own solo. I was delighted to hear the voice of Holland Andrews (Like a Villain) in there, amidst a dynamic score of new music that brilliantly fit into each scene.

“Crystals of Transformation” by Fuchsia Lin presents the solo work of Andrea Parson of NW Dance Project for a short concept film about nature and its great power over the inner and outer world of the human being. Parson offers a mysticism not frequently seen from her.

“Warehouse Samba” by Gabriel Shalom is a rhythmically edited short film featuring three dancers interacting with a warehouse space. As they slap their hands on steel, or pound their feet into concrete, both the image and sound is fused together. While dance has always expressed music, in this case, it is concretely fused to the music as its creator.

Films by Conrad Kazcor, Jackie Davis, and Amy Yang Chiao will also be screened as part of Movement and Flow. To view teasers, trailers, or other works by these filmmakers, please follow the links at the bottom of this article.

Sean Ongley

By Sean Ongley

Co-Founder of THRU Media. A background in non-profit, music, and radio preceded my ambitions here. Now, I aspire to produce new media and publish independent journalism at this site and beyond.

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