Inaugurated in 1971 and considered the “mother” of dance film festivals, the Dance On Camera Festival annually presents a broad range of films including documentaries, shorts, features, experimental works, and music videos that celebrate the immediacy of dance combined with the intimacy of film.
In 1996, Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center partnered to co-present the Dance on Camera Festival, hosting screenings at the Walter Reade Theater and for the first time during the 40th Anniversary in 2012, at the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Past partners have included Movement Research, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and The Big Screen Project. Since 1999, we have facilitated the Dance on Camera Tour.
This year’s edition on February 12-16 presents audiences with the worlds of ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance; modern and postmodern legends and discoveries, such as the focus of the closing night film, Jack Walsh’s “Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer”; flamenco in gypsy enclaves as well as explorations into artistic expression and innovative therapy; stories from a country where women choose to dance despite a cultural bias against it; and, in addition to spotlighting the more traditional forms of dance, the lineup also delves into the exciting world of trapeze—sometimes referred to as “ballet of the air”—in the opening night film, Tom Moore’s “The Flight Fantastic.”
In-person appearances by legendary ballerinas Natalia Makarova (Kirov, ABT, Royal & freelance) and Merrill Ashley (NYCB for 30 years).
A tribute to the great jazz innovator Luigi (Faccuito) with the free panel discussion, “Luigi: Hollywood, Broadway and Beyond,” followed by a screening of Vincente Minnelli’s classic American musical “The Band Wagon,” in which he appears with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse.
Dance Education and Advocacy Through Film: A pioneering discussion following a screening of “PS DANCE!” and “Capturing Motion NYC,” with dance filmmakers, educators and program leaders, moderated by Paul Galando (Dance Films Association’s Vice President and Chair of Education) with Jody Gottfried Arnhold (Dance Films Association’s 2016 Dance in Focus Awardee for her exceptional contributions to our dance community through education, advocacy, and groundbreaking support of dance film).
Meet the Artist with Pat Birch: A Dance Films Association’s 2016 Dance in Focus Awardee for her outstanding contributions to the dance film genre, the festival welcomes the award-winning choreographer to share career insights into her work for stage, screen, and television, including being the mastermind behind the hand jive in the musical hit Grease.
A screening of “Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater,” followed by a Q&A with special guests.
Retrospective Highlights: Dance Films Association launches its 60th season with a series of retrospective screenings, featuring significant and compelling films from its six decades of innovative programming. “Bessie: A Portrait of Bessie Schonberg” about the inspiring mentor and teacher, which will feature directors D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus in person; “The Men Who Danced,” the story of Jacob’s Pillow founder Ted Shawn and his original all-male troupe; and “Lar Lubovitch at Jacob’s Pillow,” featuring the choreographer and some of his signature works. These programs represent the rich history that Dance Films Association brings to this unique programming and the special anniversaries marking the potency of the dance cinema genre.
An advance screening of German Kral’s Our Last Tango, featuring Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, tango’s explosive partnership that ignited audiences for over 40 years.