CREATIVE PEAKS: Motion Pictures

By on November 10, 2015

Silver screen comes alive with beautiful body mechanics.

Dorotea Saykaly in the short film ‘Painted,’ screening for the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema Saturday at the Center for the Arts. (Photo: Duncan McDowall)

Dorotea Saykaly in the short film ‘Painted,’ screening for the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema Saturday at the Center for the Arts. (Photo: Duncan McDowall)

Jackson, WY – Carrie Richer was amazed at her dad’s old metal-framed backpack. It was hard to think he used to carry that around in the mountains. That backpack became the inspiration for “Moving Upstream,” a film where a woman on a snowy trail wrestles the pack as she moves. It represents a literal and metaphorical struggle anyone can relate to, said Richer, a founder and director with Hole Dance Films.

The film is one of two Hole Dance Films that will screen Saturday along with jury-selected movies as part of the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema.

It is the first year Jackson has hosted the festival.

The goal was to bring in a variety of films in the dance genre, Richer said. Some are beautiful and dramatic and others are whimsical and fun.

“It’s pretty eye-opening and nice to look at the genre,” Richer said. “There is a little bit for everybody.”

“Bookin’” documents an experiment combining ballet with Memphis Jookin, a hip-hop street style of dance.

In “Dance like Your Old Man,” dancers imitate and tell stories about how their dads move to music.

In “Painted,” you eventually realize the dancer in the warehouse transforms into a bird through movement.

The festival also includes a couple of documentaries, including one from Pilobolus, a dance company that has performed in Jackson. The film gives insight into the process of creating the unique dance the company is known for, Richer said.

While the films offer a chance for students and dance lovers to learn about other styles of dance and also the possibilities dance offers, the festival intends to reach a greater audience, Richer said.

The goal of hosting the festival is meant to expose people who might not normally watch dance to the art form. Some films offer insight into the process of dance, while others are meant to just entertain.

“A lot of the dance is so physically active and impressive and at an extreme level,” Richer said. “Anyone who lives in Jackson can appreciate it from an athletic point of view.”

Plus the longest film is only 10 minutes, she added.

Alongside the San Souci films, Hole Dance Films will premiere two new shorts, “Moving Upstream,” featuring Francesca Romo, a former dancer with Galim and now with Contemporary Dance Wyoming, struggling with the backpack, and “Housewarming,” a film shot in a home in East Jackson.

The film shows a couple moving into a new house, unpacking bubble wrap, moving items around, dressing up and setting up for a dinner party. Then it deviates and “totally goes crazy,” Richer said. “It’s just a funny film.”

The dancers are Dancers’ Workshop alum Luke Zender and Michaela Ellingson and the piece was choreographed in the home.

Richer says a friend’s house inspired the piece. It was an extraordinary and ornate space and a great place to explore dance. The piece showcases the house and the dancers take it over as their stage, moving over counters and using the crown molding.

“That dance couldn’t exist anywhere else other than that house,” Richer said.

Both films, shot by cinematographers Melinda Binks and Katy Bell, represent the style and type of movies Hole Dance Film makes.

“We like to not take our films too seriously,” Richer said.

The films are often whimsical and fun and usually feature local dancers. It’s a way to show the quality of dancers found in Jackson, Richer said.

Richer and Kate Kosharek started Hole Dance Films eight years ago. The two dancers wanted to not just produce dance work on the stage, but share it with other audiences.

“When in Wyoming, a film lends itself to reaching out and making work available internationally without leaving Jackson Hole,” Richer said.

Their films have played in various festivals including the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema and it’s traveled with the festival’s “best of the festival” tours.

The festival and screening of the two new Hole Dance Films is a great way to show the community what they’ve been working on and garner local support for dance, as well as show how much dance is out there around the world.

Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema and Hole Dance Films, 4:30 p.m. documentary screening, 7:30 p.m. shorts screening and Hole Dance Films reception, Saturday, Center for the Arts. $12 individual screening; $20 festival pass. PJH

About Kelsey Dayton

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