VideoDance event celebrates art of movement on celluloid

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival is holding its second VideoDance Festival at the Technopolis arts center in the gasworks complex at Gazi. The festival – consisting of a series of daily screenings – highlights the relationship between film and dance, capturing the fluidity of movement and the poetic rhythm of dance on a two-dimensional format. The VideoDance Festival traces the manner in which choreography and cinematography were married by pioneering artists as far back as the early 1900s in an attempt to analyze and reproduce the use of space and the body, and the elements of time in space. It features some 50 films covering dance film production from the start of the 20th century to modern times by artists as diverse as Louis Lumiere (Le Cake-Walk au Nouveau Cinema, 1902), Felix Mayol (La Matschicha, 1906) or Mans Reuterward, (Swan Lake 1990, based on the choreography of Mats Ek), and including a 2001 Greek production, Sudden Space, choreographed by Michalis Nalbandis and directed by Makis Faros. It highlights the choreographies of leading artists such as Pina Bausch, Angelin Prejocaj, Jiri Kylian, Philippe Decouffle and Sasha Waltz, as well as dance groups such as DV8. In order to achieve this extensive coverage of a rarely highlighted film genre, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has collaborated with France’s dance archive, Cinematheque de la Danse, and other similar festivals such as Toronto’s Moving Pictures, Barcelona’s Mostra de Video Dansa and the Festival Internacional de Videodansa of Buenos Aires. Nijinsky tribute Athens’s VideoDance Festival has been separated into thematic units, the most important of which is a tribute to the great dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. The tribute is composed of screenings of films and videos, both old and new, which highlight the absolute virtuosity of his work while simultaneously showing its timeless qualities by applying modern concepts and technological media to project his dances. The first part of the Nijinsky tribute is based on two works that show the new climate created by Nijinsky when he took over the Ballets Russes from Michel Fokine: Petroushka (1911) to music by Igor Stravinsky, and The Ghost and the Rose (also 1911) to music by Karl Maria von Weber. In this second work, the modern interpretations are performed by dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet. The second part of the Nijinsky tribute will feature differing versions of the choreographer’s first work, L’Apres-midi d’un Faune, performed by Nijinsky in 1912. Modern themes Another section of VideoDance, Chemistries consists of experimentation on new media through exciting modern films such as Lene Boel’s Zoisk from Denmark or Dan Wiroth’s and Lionel Hoche’s Ere Mela Mela from France. Wired, another section of the festival, looks at recorded dance performances in an attempt to reveal emerging trends in choreography throughout the world, while Project Exchange focuses on Greek videodance production while simultaneously featuring the work of young directors throughout Europe. In addition, the VideoDance Festival pays tribute to urban culture with the section City and the history of black dance in city centers, in Urban Cultures: Tap Dance and Hip-Hop. The VideoDance Festival runs until September 17 at Technopolis, 100 Pireos, Gazi, tel 346.7322.

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