Movies by Movers Featured Artists Talks



artist talk & screening #1
Thursday, June 3 @ 7:00 PM ET featuring Janessa Clark 

We will present two works—selections from Janessa Clark’s film Communion and her new work |:|.

Communion is an experimental screendance response to the isolation and uncertainty we are all facing as artists and humans in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Because dancers can no longer breathe together, touch, or share the experience of movement within the physical studio, Communion invites 40 dancers, separated by physical distance and the pandemic, into a digital space to commune together.
Each unique duet is created from videos by two different dancers who are separated by cities, countries, and sometimes continents. Artist Janessa Clark combines these videos to create virtual duets which are set to music donated by a composer also collaborating remotely.
Conceived, devised, created and captured in the difficult year of 2020, |:| is a complex web of spaces and scenes directed and choreographed by Janessa Clark in collaboration with Attack Theatre of Pittsburgh, captured by cinematographer Joshua Sweeny, and scored by composer David Shane Smith. In this film the viewer is offered an intimate look at the performers on their bespoke journeys towards deeper self-knowledge, healing, and each another. Graphic by nature and interpretive by design, the title for this new work creates space to make meaning—one to one or eye to eye. It can be a mirror image, or a glance at another person. It provides a symmetry and balance for contemplation and an ambiguous chasm of spatial divide. It can be an encounter, a barrier, a reflection. As individuals and as a society we are diagnosing and course-correcting after months, years, and centuries of pain and trauma. |:| moves through multiple levels of meaning and metaphor as we acknowledge the past and reckon with our future.

event #2
Thursday, June 10 @ 7:00 PM ET featuring Sarah Friedland

Presenting the film Drills and a short trailer
for Ms. Friedland’s project CROWDS.
Drills is a film about the choreography of preparing for the future. A hybrid documentary and experimental dance film reimagining the form of the Cold War-era, US government-produced social guidance film, Drills asks what futures we are preparing for through the exercises embodying present anxieties. Weaving in between multiple forms of choreography and documentation, Drills restages lockdown and active shooter drills, frames corporate and tech start-up office meditation, and reperforms Boy Scout drills from the 1917 Boy Scout manual.
A 3-channel video installation of a durational dance, CROWDS investigates the choreography of crowd typologies and the slippages between them. Much like a flock of murmurating birds, the thresholds between these crowd types are blurred and distorted: the rocking of bodies in prayer slip into the shaking of raving dancers, the training exercises of sports teams slide into the structured formations of fascist spectacles. Focusing on these collective formations, movements, and gestures, CROWDS uses dance to interrogate the distinctions we make and to destabilize the relationship between ideologies and moving bodies. It attempts to articulate the embedded choreographic register of our political discourses and polemics, reflecting what is amassed and what is lost as we gather and disperse.

event #3

Thursday, June 17 @ 7:00 PM ET featuring Omari ‘Motion’ Carter

Presenting the films End of the Block, Finding My Feet, and In Pursuit of Joy: A Screendance BBQ.

End of the Block is a film that combines live dance with stickman animation to create a very compelling piece that illustrates the harsh realities of trying to go beyond your postcode and hints at the possibility of moving on to pastures new.

Finding My Feet—Still in the midst of rehabilitation, choreographer and dancer Omari Carter confronts his inability to move in ways that he once did. Through talks with cinematographer, James Williams, Omari presents his current discomfort with his current physical ability. Resulting in a docu-dance that explores the frustrations, doubts and struggle an injured dancer endures to find their feet again.

In Pursuit of Joy: A Screendance BBQ—Unreleased. Currently finishing film festival run. 



Cara Hagan is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by movement, words, digital space, contemplative practice, and community. Ms. Hagan has the pleasure of sharing her artistic pursuits across the United States and abroad. Most recently, Cara has set choreographic works on students at the UNC School of the Arts, Missouri State University, Roehampton University London, Gonzaga University, and on professional dancers at the DanceBARN Festival in Battle Lake, MN. Recent guest artist residencies include Thirak India (Jaipur), James Madison University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Bath Spa University, and DeMontfort University, among others. Further, Cara has made recent performance appearances at the Asheville Wordfest, the Taos Poetry Festival, the On Site/In Sight Dance Festival, Revolve Gallery Asheville, the Performática Festival in Puebla, Mexico, and the Conference on Geopoetics in Edinburgh, Scotland. In installation, Cara’s work has been seen at Art Produce San Diego, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Revolve Gallery Asheville, and at the Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh. A recipient of several grants and awards, Cara received the “Best Southern States Documentary” award for her short film, “Sound and Sole” from the Southern States Indie Fan Film Fest in Biloxi, MS, in January 2019. She was awarded an artist residency at PLAYA Summer Lake for the fall of 2018 and an artist residency at Elsewhere Gallery for spring/summer 2020. She has been funded by the North Carolina Arts Council, the Forsyth County Arts Council, the Appalachian State University Research Council, the Cucalorus Festival, and the Dance Films Association, among other organizations. Ms. Hagan serves on the dance studies faculty at Appalachian State University, as well as serving as director and curator for ADF’s Movies By Movers, an annual, international dance film festival that hosts events at both the American Dance Festival and Appalachian State University. Cara’s creative work can be found in various publications, including literary journals Collective Terrain, Zocalo, Quill and Parchment, the Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, and Headwaters Journal of Expressive Arts. Her scholarly publications can be found in the International Journal of Screendance, the Journal of Sustainability Education, Transmissions Journal of Media Studies, and in the book, Dance’s Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures, edited by Telory D. Arendell and Ruth Barnes. Currently, Cara is under contract to complete her first solo-authored book through McFarland Publishing.

Janessa Clark (American/Swedish) is a choreographer, dance filmmaker, and installation artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Her practice combines dance, video, and language to create socially-engaged art for stage, screen, and community-specific locales. She holds an MA in Performance Practices and Research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and a BFA in Choreography from Arizona State University. At the heart of Janessa’s work is the desire to challenge and rupture modes of choreography through co-authorship and experiential agency. 
Her films and live works have been presented widely over the past 15 years including at HERE Arts Center (NY), Teatro Victoria (Canary Islands), Vitruvian Thing (Greece), SDVIG (Russia), and Danscentrum (Sweden). Janessa has also created work at residencies including through CEC ArtsLink’s Back Apartment Residency, Exploring the Metropolis’s Choreographic Residency at Jamaica Arts Center, and THE CHURCH Artist Residency in upstate New York. As a dancer Janessa has been fortunate to collaborate and perform with artists such as Tino Sehgal, Gibney Dance, Noemie LaFrance, and Laura Peterson Choreography, among others, and she has received grants from Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Swedish Arts Council, and Harlem Stage for her work. 
Currently, Janessa is guest teaching and lecturing on screendance in the academic realm and creating new commissions for several dance companies. Her video dance project, Communion, a response to the Covid-19 crisis, is installed at the Barry Art Museum in Norfolk, VA, and she is thrilled to share the work at the American Dance Festival’s Movies by Movers this summer.
Sarah Friedland is a filmmaker and choreographer working at the intersection of moving images and moving bodies. Through hybrid, narrative, and experimental filmmaking, multi-channel video installation, and site-specific live dance performance, she stages and scripts bodies and cameras in concert with one another to elucidate and distill the undetected, embodied patterns of social life and the body politic. Facilitating a research process integrating found movements, gestures, and postures from cinema and archival footage, embodied memories, and contemporary dance languages, she choreographs through practices of interviewing, pre- and re-enactment, adaptation, and improvisational play, shaping dances with diverse communities of performers and movers—from professional dancers to cohorts of seniors and teenagers.
Her work has screened and been presented in numerous festivals and film spaces including New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Ann Arbor Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, BAMcinématek, and Anthology Film Archives, in art spaces such as Performa19 Biennial, La MaMa Galleria, MoMA, Sharjah Art Foundation, MAM Rio, Nasher Museum, Wassaic Project, and Manifattura delle Arti (Bologna), and in dance spaces including the American Dance Festival and Dixon Place, among others. Her work has been supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Dance Films Association, Art Factory International, NYSCA/Wave Farm, Rhode Island State Council of the Arts/NEA, Berlinale Talents, where she was one of 10 selected screenwriter/directors for the 2017 Script Station/Project Lab, and most recently by the Bronx Museum, where she was an AIM Emerging Artist Fellow in 2020. Sarah graduated from Brown University’s department of Modern Culture and Media and started her career assisting filmmakers including Steve McQueen, Mike S. Ryan, and Kelly Reichardt. Sarah has worked on collaborative research and writing projects with media theorists Wendy Chun on slut-shaming and new media leaks, with Erin Brannigan on the dancing body on film, and has an ongoing collaboration with writer, scholar, and programmer Tess Takahashi on masses and embodiment. She has taught workshops on dance film and been a guest artist at Brown, Yale, Skidmore, NYU Florence, and University of Utah, among others.
Omari ‘Motion’ Carter is a screendance practitioner and lecturer based in London (UK) and, for the past decade, has been choreographing, teaching, and performing for music videos, film, television, and theatre. A first-class BA (Hons) degree in Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University led Omari to perform for 7 years in the West End and international touring productions of ‘Stomp!’.  During this time, Omari choreographed, directed, performed, and produced a varied reel of dance on film work with Screendance production company, The Motion Dance Collective, which he founded in 2011. As a director, videographer, and editor, Omari has created digital-dance and documentary content for Breakin’ Convention Hip Hop Theatre Festival (UK), Parkinson’s UK, Dance Woking, Akademi (UK), Calmer UK, National Centre for Circus Arts, Jason Mabana Dance, Pagrav Dance Company, and Mouvement Perpétuel (Canada). As an independent choreographer and dancer, Omari has created works for Google, Britain’s Got Talent, Weetabix, Stanton Warriors, Greenpeace UK, Diabetes UK, and ADAD (Association of Dance from the African Diaspora). A graduate from the world’s first master’s degree in Screendance at London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS), Omari is now an associate lecturer in Screendance at the University of East London, University of Lincoln, and LCDS. Currently, Omari is co-curator of Akademi Dance-Film Festival, Digital Creative for Pavilion Dance South West, on the event programming team for San Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, and is soon to feature in the next edition of The International Journal of Screendance.
ADF’s Movies by Movers screendance festival is funded in part by the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation.