An abandoned building, a man, and an intrepid ghost in a striped dress…These are the aspects of Spiegelingen, a wonderful, longer short film that I first saw when reviewing submissions for Dance Camera West last year. Part comical and part eerie, this short has a narrative quality yet maintains a loose story line, inviting the viewer to fill in the blanks for herself.
Beautifully shot in an old European building that is at once run down and grand, Spiegelingen follows a man as he faces his fears while dancing through the rooms of the building to a changing series of tunes from a static spewing boom box, each tune suggesting a different mood, genre, and era of dance. When seemingly out of nowhere, a woman in a striped dress appears – her face always hidden behind a mane of long hair – and dances a semi-violent and physically demanding duet with him, we’re appropriately unsure whether this dance is happening in the rooms of the building or in the man’s head. The dancer Jorge Morro’s face is so expressive, vulnerable, and honest, that we are immediately taken by and rooting for him on his short hero’s journey. I love how this film is so strong yet porous, engaging the audience in wondering what will happen in the loose narrative next without a single word being spoken. Spiegelingen is directed by Marinus Groothof, with choreography (and ghost dance) by Dunja Jocic, and really strong editing by Juriaan Van Nimwegen. Please enjoy.