|Photo by Nancy Wong|
It's like a choose your own adventure novel with dance. Dances Made to Order
, a monthly online film festival, allows audience members to vote on what they'd like to see in a five-minute dance piece. After successful runs in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston, the voting is now open for the Minneapolis edition.
"I wanted a forum that wasn't limited by time, geography, or space," says Kingsley Irons, who founded the series. "I can't always afford to travel the way I would like to, but I still wanted to experience the work of other artists in other communities. Dances Made to Order allows its audience to do that."
|Photo by Kevin Obsatz|
|Kenna-Camara Cottman |
Irons also wanted to find a way to help artists generate revenue from
their films. Dances Made to Order has viewers subscribe to a
series, with 65 percent of profits going to the artists. "There just
isn't as much funding for the form as there should be," Irons says.
Irons was also interested in tapping into the changing way society consumes media, specifically via the internet. "I wanted dance to have a place in that," she says. "Once the films have premiered, our audience members can watch them at anytime anywhere."
Of course, creating dance for film is kind of its own genre itself. "What looks good onstage won't necessarily look great on camera," she says. Not only does the dancing require a different approach, but the planning process is also different. However, Irons says she likes to make sure that in dance film the dance is "featured in a way that isn't taken over by the editing."
|Photo by Alexa Jones|
Laurie Van Wieren, choreographer and curator of 9x22 Dance Labs, was
chosen to curate the Minneapolis edition of Dances Made to Order. She has
previously used video in her own work, making three dance videos a number of
years ago using 35-mm cameras. Since then, "things have changed a
lot," she says. "I'm interested in getting back to it."
Van Wieren chose Kenna Cottman because she saw some footage that Cottman had done while rehearsing for Momentum (which ended
up not getting used for the Momentum piece). She also chose Pramila
Vasudevan, who works mainly with Aniccha Arts, a collaborative group. "I
always want to see more of her dance," Van Wieren says. "I want to see
her leading more."
The third choreographer is Laura Holway, who will be creating a piece with her husband, videographer Ben McGinley. Holway says she was particularly drawn to the series because you have to create your film in a short time period with very specific ideas in mind. The audience votes on three sources of inspiration, which need to be incorporated into the dance. "For me, the parameters really help," she says. "Otherwise, there's just so much to choose from."
Voting closes on July 5 for the Minneapolis edition of Dances Made to Order
. You can visit the website and log in to pick your three favorite concepts. The most popular ideas will be used as inspiration for all three choreographers. The films premiere July 25 online. You can pay $10 for just this month's films, or $50 for 33 festivals throughout the year.