Deirdre Towers's Blog (30)

Bell 8

A fascination for waves, the dance above and below sea level, leads one to wind, light, and hypnosis, and consider how rhythm is central to our being.

No two frames of wave footage are the same, nor are two seconds of being. The height, speed, texture of waves reveal the secret of rhythms



Added by Deirdre Towers on September 28, 2018 at 1:56pm — No Comments


Would like to know whether anyone in has a network to recommend for getting videos into high schools. Please let me know. 

Also, has anyone had any luck getting into the network for LETS MOVE, Michelle Obama's campaign. One would think this network would be a natural for dance filmmakers!! As you know, it's difficult to move one short film, but…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 8, 2013 at 8:54am — No Comments

re:PLAY 2013 in Imphal, Manipur

The screening of the two part film OLYMPIA directed by Leni Riefenstahl in 1936 made the women in re:PLAY 1913's audience to acknowledge the power of the female gaze. How often do we see evidence of that? Riefenstahl's exquisite framing of superb bodies in action, rhythmic editing, and the surreal dance film at the close of…


Added by Deirdre Towers on January 29, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

From Peking to Queens to Manipur

If a slim, handsome man or woman waits on you in a Manhattan restaurant, you just assume they are performers. But do you do the same in Chinatown and Flushing? Perhaps you should.  Since 1988, Qi Shu Fang, master of Chinese Opera, has been developing her own Peking Opera Company with her husband Ding Mei-kui in Queens. The professional lives of their company resemble…


Added by Deirdre Towers on October 22, 2012 at 3:53pm — No Comments

Sticking to the essentials: Peter Kubelka

I just spent 4 rewarding hours in the company of Peter Kubelka, courtesy of the filmmaker Martina Kudlacek. He is a Viennese man absolutely sold on his own ideas, so eager to share them, and so charmed by their endless possibilities, that we must dispend any skepticism. Martina Kudlacek, who made the 2002 documentary IN THE MIRROR OF MAYA DEREN, begins her film with Kubelka…


Added by Deirdre Towers on October 10, 2012 at 6:24pm — No Comments

Jason Akira Somma's "Phosphene Variations"

What does Jason Akira Somma’s installation “Phosphene Variations”  recently on exhibit at Soho’s Location One have in common with Snoop Dogg’s performance with Tupac this last April in Coachella? Both are take-offs of Pepper’s Ghost, a centuries old illusion popularized by John Henry Pepper in 1862 in which an image is bounced off the floor onto an invisible…


Added by Deirdre Towers on October 4, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Dare

Soledad Barrios dares to touch us, to appeal to our empathy, and evoke an image of courage despite impossible circumstances. This ‪Madrileña‬, acclaimed by Alastair Macauley to be one of the greatest dancers of any genre, seems now to transcend dance all together. She commands our attention, emotionally and spiritually. She could be singing an aria or standing for a painter…


Added by Deirdre Towers on September 30, 2012 at 12:04pm — No Comments

Norsk Festival for Dans Og Film 2012

"We drank wine, watched porno films, danced as though we were dancing contact improv or working for Forsythe, Kylian, Anne Teresa de Keersmaker, " said the charismatic dancer Jordi Cortes Molina about his collaboration with Daniel Munoz in the making of COUP DE GRACE based on two men whose friendship was brought to an abrupt stop - only to be tested again after 40 years. "We tried everything to get to all the layers of the friendship of these two men with their long long history together.…


Added by Deirdre Towers on August 24, 2012 at 6:29pm — No Comments

Imagery as starting or ending point

Tonight I will perform at St. Marks Church in Dagmar Spain's YELLOW IS NOT GOLD. Will I be able to replace moments in the piece that feel amorphous with those that feel potent and compelling?  Daniel Nagrin once advised his choreographic students never to verbally share the basic impulse for your choreography, save the urge to share through your dance. Guard it as your secret.  Lacking the toolbox of final cut pro to shape/morph/frame that image, I'm left to bumbling around in the dark room…


Added by Deirdre Towers on June 23, 2012 at 11:00am — No Comments

Homeless but not hopeless

On January 30, 2012, NYC's Department of Homeless Services runs its eighth Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). The survey estimates the number of individuals living on the streets, in parks and in other public spaces in New York City. A survey is a federal requirement for all cities wishing to draw down funding for homeless services provided by the McKinney-Vento…


Added by Deirdre Towers on January 7, 2012 at 6:02am — No Comments

A word with En Dedans director Gabrielle Lamb


Gabrielle Lamb, USA, 2011; 10m

A one-of-a-kind film collage that draws on dancers’ dream journals, choreography, structured improv and spoken text.

When I set out on my collaboration with the BalletX…


Added by Deirdre Towers on January 6, 2012 at 12:37pm — No Comments


In 1994, I looked out at the sparse Dance on Camera Festival audience at Anthology Film Archives and asked anyone whether they had any suggestions for building the festival. Margaret Williams, the brilliant British director of OUTSIDE IN, came out of the dark from the back of the house, to shake my hand but within that handshake was the affirmation that DOCF indeed…


Added by Deirdre Towers on December 22, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

Overview on Dance on Camera

What is a dance film?

Purely speaking, a dance film is one in which dance and film/video are both integral to a work. This simple definition separates dance films from archival records of stage or site specific dance compositions. The makers of dance films…


Added by Deirdre Towers on April 20, 2011 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Discovering G.K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was a British writer whose criticism holds up over time. His depiction of "A Midsummer's Dream" reveals such a fresh perspective with an acute sense of how Shakespeare "catches the atmosphere of a dream. The personalities are well known to everyone who has dreamt of perpetually falling over precipices or perpetually missing trains. ... The author contrives to include every one of the main peculiarities of the exasperating dream. Here…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 17, 2011 at 11:33am — No Comments

ACDF Videos at Muhlenberg College

The editor Daniel Kontz for THE CAMERA BETRAYS YOU submitted by Liz Staruch and Mark O'Maley from West Chester University is a young talent to follow. Daniel transformed the team's flip-book idea into a dynamic, graphically pleasing jaunt, taut with tension. Shot on the High Line in NYC, THE CAMERA BETRAYS YOU makes you grin and wonder, as it draws you into its go-go/freeze rhythm. The video was created with 10,000 photographs of action and celebrated by the High Line on their website.…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 15, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

Kinetic Image Composition

Does one always set out to communicate when one writes?


No, sometimes you are just trying to understand your thoughts,

study your dreams, wrestle with something you heard, did, or saw, come to

grips with the mysteries of being.


Communication begins when you think about someone other than just yourself.


This might be why good writing is also…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 5, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Proprioceptive writing as a tool for dance filmmakers

Laura Taler, maker of the wonderful A VERY DANGEROUS PASTIME and Village Trilogy, said during her talk at Dance on Camera Festival that one of her professors urged her to use proprioceptive writing as a part of her practice.  "Through PW you learn to listen to your thoughts with impassioned curiosity, reflect on them imaginatively, and set them free."

Put on music that can run for 25 minutes, listen to your thoughts and play on them in print daily.


According to…


Added by Deirdre Towers on February 16, 2011 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Do dance film festivals further the art of dance on camera?

With limited resources, how should a dance film service organization best focus their efforts on nurturing the dance filmmaker? Do dance film festivals actually help the dance filmmaker? When DFA's Festival started in 1971, it formed a community, brought the user, producer, and filmmaker together. But now with over 5,000 film festivals and dance film festivals sprouting up everywhere, multiple options to screen your work on-line, what impact does a screening have on a filmmaker's career.…


Added by Deirdre Towers on February 13, 2011 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Berlin Film Festival as a model?

Wondering how Wim Wenders 3d film on Pina Bausch is being received at Berlin Film Festival, I scanned the website of this famous festival. What can be learned from how they run it?

Asked to do a self-evaluation for DFA's Board, I am exploring a bit beyond the same final report requested by any funding agency, such as NEA. What more could be done?


The Berlin Festival proudly presents 8 categories of films: 1) BIG name fiction features expecting big audiences, 2) art…


Added by Deirdre Towers on February 12, 2011 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

Unforgettable Swiss Dance Films

7 great dance films from Switzerland shown in current and earlier Dance on Camera Festivals.

BÖDÄLÄ – Dance The Rhythm

U.S. Premiere - Nominated for Jury Prize

Gitta Gsell, 2010; Switzerland, 78m

Bodala is a Swiss rhythm…


Added by Deirdre Towers on January 18, 2011 at 12:13pm — No Comments

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