REEL MOTION: Northrop 2020-21 Film Series Gets Up Close and Personal

Aug 20, 2020

The 2020-21 Northrop Film Series has, in the past few years, offered a diverse slate of films connected with the Dance Series performances normally presented live on the Northrop stage. Those links—whether literal or thematic will continue this season—but at a safe physical distance, thanks to streaming technology. Start planning today with this Series overview.

First up this Fall, you can celebrate the rich tradition of Flamenco, learn about acclaimed Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, and experience an evening of disability arts films curated by Kinetic Light’s Alice Sheppard—all from the comfort of your own home.

The first event of the season is actually a special engagement add-on to the Film Series. On Wed, Oct 14, we will screen Flamenco, Flamenco, a concert film by legendary Spanish filmmaker Carlos Sagura. A powerful 90 minutes of extraordinary Flamenco dancers accompanied by masters of the musical form such as Niña Pastori, Manolo Sanlucar, Paco de Lucia, Tomatito, and José Mercé, this is a must see for Flamenco novices and long-time fans alike. Register now for the online stream.

On Wed, Nov 11, the Film Series will officially kick off with That Pärt Feeling: The Universe of Arvo Pärt. Exploring the work of the enigmatic Estonian composer and his intense collaboration with the Cello Octet Amsterdam, That Pärt Feeling takes you into Pärt’s world through rehearsal footage and interviews with his collaborators. It’s an excellent way to gain context to GALLIM’s new dance film by Andrea Miller and Helix Films based on BOAT, an online performance that is a creative collaboration with Northrop that debuts Thu, Nov 19 using sections from Pärt’s Berliner Messe, Fratres, and Salve Regina to create the musical landscape the dancers will inhabit.   

On Mon, Nov 30, experience the joy of flight on wheels with an evening of disability arts films curated by Alice Shepard and featuring her own Revel in Your Body. Other films to be featured in this mini-film festival will be announced at a later date. Be sure to return on Thu, Dec 3 for the online premiere of Kinetic Light’s DESCENT.

Starting in January, we will be back in Northrop’s Best Buy Theater for in-person screenings.  The Series offers a double feature that traces the influence of a mentor on the next generation, a special screening of Grace with a Q&A with the artist, an opportunity to tilt at a few windmills, a chance to catch a film that was rescheduled from last season, and a reservation to a unique hotel. 

While Countdown: Reflections of a Life in Dance chronicles the career of post-modern dance pioneer Rudy Perez, it also contains rehearsal footage of Perez working with a young Victor Quijada who would go on to found his own company, RUBBERBAND. Trace the influence from Perez to Quijada by staying after the screening of Countdown on Wed, Jan 20 to see Quijada’s short film Gravity of Center, adapted from one of Quijada’s live dance works. Both films are great introductions for RUBBERBAND’s Vic Mix performance at Northrop and as a live stream event on Sat, Feb 6-Sun, Feb 7.

On Wed, Feb 17, don’t miss an opportunity to see the dance film version of Ronald K. Brown/Evidence’s famous work, Grace. Following the screening, participate in a Q&A session with choreographer Ronald K. Brown, whose work has been seen many times on the Northrop stage danced by companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico, and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Brown’s company, Evidence, will return to the stage the next day on Thu, Feb 18 for two live performances of Grace and Mercy. A live-stream option of the event is also available.

Canceled at the end of the 2019-20 Season, Northrop is happy to be able to screen The Dazzling Light of Sunset on Wed, Mar 10. Programmed in conjunction with The State Ballet of Georgia, this documentary follows a television journalist as she works to report on local events of her small town in the country of Georgia. This award-wining documentary offers a portrait of post-Soviet Georgia though a peculiarly comedic lens. We’re thrilled to have The State Ballet of Georgia performing Giselle with a live orchestra and also via live stream a few days later on Sat, Mar 20 and Sun, Mar 21.   

To mix it up, join us Wed, Mar 31 at the Trylon Cinema for a screening of Terry Gilliam’s long suffering passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. This extremely meta take on Cervantes’s quixotic hero and director Gilliam’s own journey promises to be an entertaining addition to American Ballet Theatre’s Don Quixote performance Wed, Apr 7 at Northrop and via live stream.

We’ll end the 2020-21 Northrop Film Series on a beautifully resonant high note with Mukti Bhawan (Hotel Salvation) on Wed, Apr 21. The film takes on two subjects that American culture isn’t so great at dealing with: death and the end-of-life care of an aging parent. With a lighthearted approach, this film dovetails nicely with Ragamala Dance Company’s Fires of Varanasi live and live-streamed performance on Sat, May 1. Join us for that and the ENCORE: Inspiring Positive Change live event on Northrop’s Plaza that same evening.

Shayna Houp is Northrop’s Artist Services Manager and curates the Film Series each season.

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