This event is free and open to the public - ONLINE
Artistic Director, Maida Withers and New Media/Film Makers, Guest Artists, Robin Bell and Ludovic Jolivet join with GW dance faculty and choreography students to create dance on camera shorts to broadcast to the public online. Projects for this inaugural season, feature film shorts by Faculty Choreographers Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Giselle Ruzany, along with Student Choreographers Katherine Auerswald, Jillian Canning, Julia Chodyla, Chloe Davis, Hannah Jacobson, Alison Janega, Kinaya Mceady, and Madelyn Sell. Dancers, who are also filming themselves dancing “on location,” collaborate remotely with choreographers from national and international locations in the creation of the dance film shorts.
Professor Withers comments, “This year, dance at George Washington University is embracing film making, ensuring that students are harnessing the tools of the internet to continue to evolve as choreographers who make dance on camera works, no matter their global location or their experience with creating dance with their phone cameras. We have always prided ourselves at GW that we are one of the most future oriented programs in dance - forward thinking, aware of industry trends. We have always incorporated experimental and diverse work, so leaning into digital processes, directing dancers in remote locations how to film themselves dancing, and editing to create something of interest, is an organic shift to expand our curriculum to feature digital ways of working. The students know how to use their phones expertly from social interactions, so this is a great opportunity to expand that natural generational skill set into using cameras as instruments for art. COVID will come to an end, but our dances will continue to make and present dance film shorts and other video projects and, eventually, live interactive dance works for online platforms.” (Maida Withers, Professor and Filmmaker).
The professional film makers/guest artists support the choreographers in creating dance in the virtual world. Robin Bell, founder of Bell Visuals, is an award-winning editor, video journalist, and multimedia artist based in Washington DC. Robin is known for his projection on the White House, Trump Towers, and other buildings in DC. Ludovic Jolivet, native of Paris, France, is a multimedia artist focusing on dance, film, and photography. Mr. Jolivet has created dances for both film and stage that have been presented at venues and dance festivals worldwide and is currently based in Los Angles. These two artists on either side of America join with students all over the globe in creating this new dance vision. Comments Mr. Jolivet, “Working with the GWU students on their dance projects has been a wonderful adventure that began with the challenges of a virtual collaboration and quickly became an opportunity to discover new means to create and present creative works.”
Also part of this “adventure” are faculty choreographers Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Giselle Ruzany. Dana Tai Soon Burgess is a leading American choreographer, dancer, and cultural figure, referred to as the “poet laureate of Washington dance” and “not only a Washington Prize, but a national dance treasure,” Sarah Kaufman. Washington Post. Giselle Ruzany, a GW dance alumni and a respected GW Adjunct Faculty, has been dancing professionally since 1987. Raised in Brazil, Giselle is known for her powerful technical and emotional expression as a dancer. Giselle, currently getting her PhD in expressive arts therapy, is a licensed professional counsellor combining her two passions of psychology and dance.
Maida Withers, Artistic Director of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, has created over 100 distinctive dance and multimedia performances. Her international projects in 38 countries, have been supported by US Embassies and the US Department of State. Her works reveal her deep commitment and activism in the arts, leadership and innovation with interactive technology and multimedia narratives. Her dance films have received awards both nationally and internationally (maidadance.com).