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8th Annual Dance Media Film Festival from Dance Camera West. June 2009, Los Angeles

by Sarah Hart
June 5, 2009
Locations throughout Los Angeles
Dance Camera West
Announces Eighth Annual Dance Media Film Festival
Throughout Los Angeles - June 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - Dance Camera West's annual festival, recognized as one of the world's foremost celebrations of dance on film, announces the Dance Camera West Eighth Annual Dance Media Film Festival screening at venues throughout southern California in June 2009. A unique cinematic experience that focuses on the intersection of cinematography and choreography, the month-long film festival features all forms of dance media. Chosen by Los Angeles Magazine as "Pick of the Month" for their June 2008 issue, Dance Camera West (DCW) again partners with the city's most prestigious venues in offering a global perspective on a new visual language through a host of experimental shorts, documentaries, features, and symposiums with visiting international artists. Please visit DCW's website for continuous updates - www.dancecamerawest.org. See below for the confirmed events.

The June festival opens at the REDCAT Theater in downtown LA, with its legendary kick-off party on Friday, June 5, 2009. Presenting "ScreenDance: A New Visual Language," three programs of short films from around the world will captivate audiences on Friday and Saturday night during the opening weekend. DCW will present two days of programming at the Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theatre on Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14. The month-long festival continues with an outdoor screening, Videodanza, Friday, June 19 featuring artists from Latin American at the Braude Center Plaza in Van Nuys. On Sunday, June 21 at the Autry National Center expect a program of documentaries featuring Native American dance legends. Throughout the festival, DCW will also present lively panel discussions with directors and choreographers, as well as screenings with the Los Angeles Film Festival and the American Cinematheque.

Known as one of the world's premiere presenters of dance media, Dance Camera West has expanded the audience for dance in Southern California with the presentation of more than 1,000 dance films since 2002. Speaking to its global diversity, festival founder and director Lynette Kessler explains, "Dance is an art form that is universally understood and celebrated. It can break down the language barriers that oftentimes separate Los Angeles' culturally diverse communities as it allows the audience to engage with dance media from around the world. In playing directly to an audience drawn from one of the world's great arts capitals, the festival provides wide access to innovative and experimental dance on-screen. In 2009, DCW builds upon the foundation of the previous seven festivals to bring to Southern California a selection of the most boundary-pushing dance films anywhere."

Dance Camera West founder and executive/artistic director, Lynette Kessler is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and media artist with an MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan and a BFA in Dance from York University in Toronto. Known for her innovative collaborations and dance work for the screen that have been shown in film and video festivals worldwide, Kessler has received numerous awards including an Alden B. Dow Creativity Fellowship and an artist residency at Headlands Center for the Arts. She is a founding member of the Media & Dance Festival International Network, has served on dance film review committees for EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts) Commission, American Choreography Awards, Dance on Camera Festival in New York, Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film in Toronto, and is a guest lecturer at UCLA, UC Irvine, and Cal Arts. Kessler sits on the board of directors for the following organizations: Buckminster Fuller Institute, Dance Channel TV, and the California Ear Unit. She is an active member of the advocacy groups: Arts for LA, California Arts Advocates, and Americans for the Arts.

Dance Camera West is a non-profit organization committed to fostering and promoting the vibrant art of dance media from around the world. DCW aims to bridge the unique mix of film and dance communities in Los Angeles through the exploration of this hybrid genre. DCW also strives to create a broader and more engaged audience for dance and dance media by merging both performance and cinematic aesthetic. DCW is one of only a handful of organizations in the world that present dance media, and the only one of its kind on the West Coast. The 2008 festival was featured in a FOX News segment, and Los Angeles Magazine selected Dance Camera West as its Pick of the Month for the June 2008 issue. The Los Angeles Times selected the Dance Camera West Media Film Festival as one of the Ten Best dance events in Los Angeles for 2006 and 2007. DCW was voted one of the "Top 25 Dance Organizations to Watch" by Dance Magazine in 2005 and 2006.

Dance Camera West events are supported in part by the Annenberg Foundation, Mortimer Levitt Foundation, Lloyd E. Rigler and Laurence E. Deutsch Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
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For more information, photos, or to interview Lynette Kessler, please contact Green Galactic's Lynn Hasty at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.
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See below for a glimpse at DCW's June 2009 Festival Schedule as of 1/20/09:

>>> Fri. June 5 and Sat. June 6 At REDCAT in downtown LA
"Screendance: A New Visual Language"
Opening night screening and party on Friday followed by two different programs on Saturday. In three unique screenings over two days, this collection of 25 innovative dance films from around the world explores the intersection between movement and cinema.

- Friday, June 5, 2009 - 8:00pm -Screening and Opening Night Reception
- Saturday, June 6, 2009 - 6:00pm & 8:00pm (different programs)

REDCAT, Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex)
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213 237-2800; http://redcat.org)
- Tickets $15 opening night ($10 for CalArts or DCW members), $10 for other screenings ($7 for CalArts or DCW members)

>>> Sat. June 13 [2:00pm] at Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles
The Dancing Room
2:30

In Transylvania music accompanies most of the rituals of life and death. In this enigmatic dance film based on the choreography of Kate Flatt, the Hungarian band Muzsikás provide the music and are part of the action around a dozen characters from young to old. Although the music is traditional, the dance is contemporary and draws on many styles and traditions from round the world. Filmed in an eerie underground location, The Dancing Room is a powerful and memorable piece specially-worked for the camera. Produced by the BBC, directed by Simon Broughton
Recorded in London 1995, 45 minutes

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049 (310-440-4500; http://www.skirball.org)
Free - No reservations needed

>>> Sat. June 13 & Sun. June 14 at Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood
Program TBA

>>> June 19 [7:00pm] at Braude Center Plaza in Van Nuys
Videodanza: Latin American Dance on Screen
DCW will present an outdoor screening event of Latin American artists for the second year. Coming from a rich tradition of choreography and filmmaking these artists continue to re-define dance and cinema. This program of short films featuring work from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay are at times deeply thought-provoking, sublimely ethereal, and laugh-out-loud funny. These are not the ordinary tango and salsa films but rather a new expression of dance made for the screen that has been flourishing in recent years throughout Latin America. It's the perfect community event for family and friends on a summer evening.

Martin Braude Center Plaza
6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91401
- FREE admission, no reservations required: bring your own seating, blankets or chairs

>>> Sunday, June 21 [2:00pm] at Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles
"Contemporary Sacred" - a program of two films featuring First Nation and Native American artists

Byron Chief-Moon: Grey Horse Rider-
A documentary film featuring First Nation artist Byron Chief-Moon, Grey Horse Rider was directed by Philip Szporer and Marlene Millar and won "Best Documentary Short" at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Byron Chief-Moon is a multi-talented actor, stuntman, dancer, choreographer playwright, and founder of the Coyote Arts Percussive Performance Association. Through art and life, his story is one of cultural survival. Themes of Chief-Moon's dance creations begin with his people's traditional stories, his attachment to the land and his community, as well as the inner conflict he faces in existing within the Aboriginal culture and society at large. He is ensuring the preservation of his native language through its incorporation into his work, and he's adamant that the spoken legends of his people are passed on to the next generation, and to the greater community. Challenging the cultural construct is never easy, but Chief-Moon does so with steadfast determination and spirit. One of the main features is the name-giving ceremony for The Blood Nation of which until now has never been filmed.
2007, Canada, 48 minutes

Water Flowing Together -
A documentary on legendary Jock Soto and his 25 year career with the New York City Ballet by filmmaker Gwendolen Cate is a moving, intimate portrait of an internationally renowned artist who is Navajo Indian, Puerto Rican, and openly gay. On the verge of retirement, one of modern ballet's most gifted and celebrated dancers is forced to contemplate life after dance. Exploring identity, family, and transition, the film climaxes with his emotional departure from ballet at age 40 in 2005. As Soto reflects on his uncertain future, he also attempts to connect with his past, revisiting his Navajo roots and the cultural heritage to which he is at once detached and devoted. Soto's story defies stereotypes in the same way that his dancing transcends the expected. Written by Gwendolen Cates.
2007, USA, 77 minutes

Autry National Center of the American West
4700 Western Heritage Way (Griffith Park Campus), Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323-667-2000; www.autrynationalcenter.org)

More June dates, venues and programs TBA for Dance Camera West's Eighth Annual Dance Media Film Festival. Please visit DCW's website for continuous updates - www.dancecamerawest.org.
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