so you want me always to paint flowers...

Utah Dance Film Festival

This film was selected for screening at the 2014 Utah Dance Film Festival in Provo, UT, curated by Karen Jensen and Tyne Crockett.

Motion Captured 2012

This film was selected to be screened at Motion Captured, an evening of screendance works presented at the Kaplan Theatre as part of Dance Month 2012 in Houston, TX.

This collaborative text and movement work was created with my theatre colleague, Allison Hetzel, and premiered at the 46th International Choreographer’s Showcase in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland in May 2009. The project is based on the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe. Hetzel and I were inspired to collaborate around the idea of women artists, and found a mutual respect, interest, and fascination with O’Keeffe. We developed the script from the writings of O’Keeffe including her artist statements, letters to friends, and general reflections from various times throughout her life. Ultimately, the idea of a female artist fighting against the expectations of a male dominated art form helped to provide inspiration for the piece. We worked with finding ways for both of us to move and speak in ways that were not artificial, but would enhance the work. We wanted to create a shared dance/text world and a true duet, as opposed to just an actor and a dancer sharing the same space and time. We accomplished this through finding moments of shared gesture and shared speech. We also concentrated on the way we used the space and how we would allow the audience to simultaneously focus on the words being spoken and the movement being performed.

I was able to contact videographer/dancer/choreographer Dionne Noble of NobleMotion Dance Company in Huntsville, TX who is also an adjunct faculty member at Sam Houston State University. She graduated from the University of Utah (where I also got my MFA) and came highly recommended by Ellen Bromberg, a leader in the dance for camera field and professor at the University of Utah. We discussed ideas for the piece over a period of about a year and made plans to travel to Abiqui, New Mexico where Georgia O’Keeffe had two houses and studios. This desert landscape is the source of inspiration for much of O’Keeffe’s work. It was also very fitting because part of the text in our work discussed the sky and rock and colors of the land she loved so much. I taught the movement phrases from the stage version of the work to UA dancer Anna Solomon and we all traveled to Abiqui in early December, 2010. We drove out to the area around O’Keeffe’s dwellings and found several locations to film the movement. We had to adapt the movement in the moment in order to link it to the landscape around us. We also had to make practical adaptions for the safety of Anna. Modern dance is usually done barefoot and much of the movement involved being at a low level, rolling, kneeling or sitting on the ground. We were able to do this in some locations, but cacti, rocks, and rough desert brush interfered with that aesthetic in other locations! We also adapted the feel of the work to center more on the landscape itself rather than on O’Keeffe. Additionally, it became a duet between a dancer and her surroundings, rather than a duet for two people, as Allison and I had performed it.

OKeeffe-Film-Shoot-425.jpg
okeefesarahallisonposter2.jpg
MG_4493.jpg