April is always the harbinger of the first real taste of Spring in Los Angeles, and with that come the Easter and Passover holidays, and of course Dance Camera West’s Annual Dance Film Festival (DCW), now in its 17th year. The latter invariably brings a bevy of beautiful international dance films, both short and longer form, as well as exciting live dance events such as this year’s second manifestation of To The Sea: Dance Concerts on the Pier, for which DCW once again partners with Los Angeles’ own, Jacob Jonas The Company. DCW runs from April 12-15th, and is best known for its selection of premiere international dance films that showcase a variety of genres “including modern dance, post modern dance, world dance, tap dance, dance-theater, ballet, hip-hop and practically all dance that has been captured on film in a way that is of quality and essential value.”
This year besides Jacob Jonas The Company’s incredibly popular, end of the pier live dance at sunset’s To The Sea, DCW’s venues span from Westwood to Santa Monica, and include UCLA’s Fowler Museum and the Laemmle Film Center.
During my involvement for many years there I learned first hand how many films have to be sifted through to make a viable and well-paced program. As such my favorite night of DCW has always been opening night, April 12th, with its curated line up of international dance shorts. Full of excitement and expectation, the opening night always makes me like a kid in a candy store surrounded by gobs of (in this case) visual treats. The carefully selected and curated films herein display a range of dance styles, music, and overall filmic creativity. Besides opening night, film highlights this year at DCW include the screening on April 13 of La Chana, a documentary about the talented Gypsy flamenco dancer as she returns to stage to give final performances after a 30 year break. April 14 and 15th brings additional international docs accompanied by panels and discussions. Highlights for To The Sea, running from April 13-15 include Pilobolus, Vincent Paterson, Jacob Jonas the Company, and Megan Lawson amongst many others. This stellar line up of performances for To The Sea, are FREE, but require an rsvp: http://tothesea.eventbrite.com.
Screen Dance is a unique genre of international film making that can communicate beyond words to defy traditional linear, narrative, and structured tropes resulting in films that are singularly moving and powerful. Like great world music, they can interrupt cultural barriers and bring people together. With its mandate to “awaken and infuse the public mainstream with a desire for critical creative programming through dance and cinema, Dance Camera West (DCW) ascribes to present the visual language of dance on screen in a way that stretches the imagination and changes the way we think about dance.”