ALL ARTS Presents Past, Present, Future Dance Film Festival with Accessibility Features, Premiering May 9, 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. ET
Three choreographers partnered with filmmakers explore what past, present and future mean to them and their work
For the inaugural Past, Present, Future dance film festival, ALL ARTS collaborated with choreographers Kyle Abraham of A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Pam Tanowitz of Pam Tanowitz Dance and the artists of Kinetic Light and filmmakers Dehanza Rogers, Liz Sargent and Katherine Helen Fisher to illuminate how dancers interpret various stages of time as motivation. The three films that comprise Past, Present, Future premiere Sunday, May 9 – Tuesday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET nationwide on the ALL ARTS app and allarts.org/PastPresentFuture, and in the New York Metro area on the ALL ARTS TV channel (channel lineup).
ALL ARTS is committed to access for the Past, Present, Future festival including audio description and captions for all films and one film with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. Marketing efforts for this festival also integrate access, including photo descriptions. To ensure accessibility, ALL ARTS tapped Bridge Multimedia to provide closed captions and audio descriptions.
The choreographers and filmmakers all created their works during a time complicated by the uncertainty and constraints of the coronavirus pandemic. Past, Present, Future provides a rare opportunity to witness a time capsule of the thoughts, processes and artistry of the choreographers, including how these artists view their field at a challenging present moment, when the future holds numerous unknowns.
“This year’s festival allows ALL ARTS to employ choreographers and filmmakers at a time when COVID has led to a lot of canceled work,” said Diane Masciale, Co-Executive in Charge of ALL ARTS. “We’re also happy to be shining a light on some of the most impactful choreographers in dance today. We encouraged their full freedom of expression and really couldn’t be happier with the results. Each film is completely different but equally inspiring.”
The Past, Present, Future dance film festival lineup on ALL ARTS features:
“If We Were a Love Song” (Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m.)
Conceived by choreographer Kyle Abraham and set to some of Nina Simone’s most intimate and stirring songs, If We Were a Love Song is a dance film that offers a cultural portrait of his company and community. Created in collaboration with A.I.M and filmmaker Dehanza Rogers, this series of poetic vignettes strips down Abraham’s idiosyncratic and emotionally-driven movement to match the raw power of Simone’s music, showing that deep grief and profound love often live in the same quiet moment. This film will be closed captioned and audio described.
“DANCERS (Slightly Out of Shape)” (Monday, May 10 at 8 p.m.)
Captured by filmmaker Liz Sargent’s verité lens, choreographer Pam Tanowitz and her dancers return to rehearsal during 2020’s pandemic. Tanowitz ponders the fleeting nature of performance and reimagines the future of her work on film. Audiences are given a rare look into the choreographer’s creation style. For its finale, the film shifts gears and features fully fledged excerpts from “Every Moment Alters,” which features music by Caroline Shaw. In contrast to the rehearsal process, Tanowitz describes the style of the final dance as polished and cinematic. This film will be closed captioned and audio described.
“One + One Make Three” (Tuesday, May 11 at 8 p.m.)
Director Katherine Helen Fisher’s documentary/dance film, with acclaimed disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light, includes innovative experimentation in which access is as challenging, provocative, and beautiful as the art itself. This film takes audiences behind the scenes, into the studio, and into the air. Dancers partner, spin, and soar, as they reflect on art, dance, and disability as a creative force. Featuring dance artists Jerron Herman, Laurel Lawson, and Alice Sheppard; artist/ASL interpreter Brandon Kazen-Maddox; and audio describer Cheryl Green. The broadcast version of this film integrates ASL and Open Captions and optionally available Enhanced Audio Description. The film is available in four versions online: ASL + Open Captions + Audio Description; ASL only; Open Captions + Audio Description; and Open Captions only. An audio file of Audio Description and transcripts will also be available.
“If We Were a Love Song” is produced by Dehanza Rogers for ALL ARTS. Music by Nina Simone. Choreography by Kyle Abraham. Directed by Dehanza Rogers. Performed by Kyle Abraham, Tamisha A. Guy, Keerati Jinakunwiphat, Claude “CJ” Johnson, Catherine Kirk, Jae Neal, Donovan Reed and Gianna Theodore. Featuring The Bell Family, Leton and Amari Hall and Niara Sterling. Kyle Abraham is Creative Director and Executive Producer. Kirby Griffin is Director of Photography. T.J. Alston is Gaffer. Dehanza Rogers is Editor and Colorist. Additional Photography by Gyasi Mitchell.
“DANCERS (Slightly Out of Shape)” is a production of Cyprian Films, New York in association with the Fisher Center at Bard for ALL ARTS. Film by Liz Sargent and Pam Tanowitz. Directed by Liz Sargent. Choreographed by Pam Tanowitz in collaboration with the dancers. Music by Caroline Shaw. Produced by Minos Papas. Co-Produced by Caleb Hammons. Gideon Lester is Executive Producer. Melissa Toogood, Lindsey Jones, Victor Lozano, Brittany Engel-Adams, Christine Flores, Zachary Gonder and Jason Collins are Dancers. Cinematography by Naomi Saito, Liz Sargent and Ahn Vu. Liz Sargent is Editor. Ash Sekercioglu and Minos Papas are Co-Editors. Production Sound by Anh Vu. Sound Design by Benjamin Wong.
“One + One Make Three” is a production of Safety Third Productions for ALL ARTS. Alice Sheppard is Artistic Director, Katherine Helen Fisher is Film Director. Jerron Herman, Laurel Lawson and Alice Sheppard are Artists. Alice Sheppard is Choreographer. Jerron Herman and Laurel Lawson are Choreographic Collaborators. Brandon Kazen-Maddox is ASL Interpreter, Deaf Culture Consultant and Subtitles. Shimmy Boyle is Producer. Devon Donis is Director of Photography. Caroline Haydon is Archival Producer. Joe Foley is ASL Director of Photography. Quinton Carr-Goodwin is ASL Gaffer. Catherine A. Nelson is Acrobatic Rigger. Alice Sheppard is Creative Director. Laurel Lawson is Director of Access Design. Cheryl Green is Audio Describer. Mel Chua is Deaf Culture Consultant. Body Language Productions is Subtitles. Vanessa Gould is Score Composer and Performer. John Walter is Editor and Grid Concept Designer. Colm McNally is Theatrical Lighting Design. Emily Kwong is Title Design.
For ALL ARTS: Jake King, Anna Campbell and Elizabeth Svokos are Multimedia Producers. Kristy Geslain is Senior Producer. Joe Harrell is Senior Director. Jörn Weisbrodt is Artistic Director (2018-2020). James King is Artistic Director (present). Diane Masciale and Neal Shapiro are Executives in Charge.
Leadership support for ALL ARTS is generously provided by Jody and John Arnhold and the Arnhold Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Anderson Family Fund and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
About ALL ARTS
ALL ARTS is breaking new ground as the premier destination for inspiration, creativity and art of all forms. This New York Emmy-winning arts and culture hub is created by The WNET Group, the parent company of New York’s PBS stations. With the aim of being accessible to viewers everywhere, ALL ARTS’ Webby-nominated programming – from digital shorts to feature films – is available online nationwide through allarts.org, the free ALL ARTS app on all major streaming platforms, and @AllArtsTV on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. New York area TV viewers can also watch the 24/7 broadcast channel. For all the ways to watch, visit allarts.org/everywhere.
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Kyle Abraham, a brown skinned Black man is sitting on a stool, he has his forearms together almost in prayer, but one hand is slightly higher than the other. His right leg is bent in a sitting position, and his left leg is extended with a pointed toe, and he’s staring off into the camera. Choreographer Kyle Abraham. Photo by Tatiana Wills.
Pam Tanowitz, a white woman with long brown hair with cinnamon highlights, is leaning forward. She’s wearing a green sweatshirt and jeans. Her head is resting in her right hand and tilted to the right. Her left hand is resting on her left knee. She is wearing a calm expression and looking directly at the camera. Choreographer Pam Tanowitz. Photo by George Etheredge.
A grid of four headshots. Clockwise, from top right: Laurel Lawson, a white woman with short blonde hair and blue eyes, gazes away from the camera with a wry smile highlighted by crimson lipstick. Jerron Herman, a Black man with a beard and black hair, looks directly into the camera; he wears a blue shirt with tiny stripes and holds his palsied hand in front of his chest. Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned multiracial Black woman with short curly brown, red, and golden hair, looks over her shoulder and stares into the camera intensely. Michael Maag, a white man with a large white beard and flowing white/blonde hair, smiles at the camera; he wears thin framed glasses. Headshots by Robert Kim, Dan Kim, and Beverlie Lorde.
A brown skinned Black woman is dancing in a long flowing blue dress. One of her arms is extended straight out to the side and the other arm is to her side in a fist. She is dancing in front of a yellow background that fades into a shimmery blue. Still from If We Were a Love Song.
A Black man with a rich dark brown skinned complexion is standing with his arm extended up in the air close to his face. This is a dark photo with with the background blurred and only the man visible in the foreground. He is shirtless, and his hair is cut short. Still from If We Were a Love Song.
Two brown skinned Black women stand in front of a window. The first woman has her hands extended up in a ballet position. Her head is shaved.The other woman behind her, has her hand on the first woman’s back as if she’s assisting her. Her hair is styled in short brown twists. They are both wearing black camisoles. Still from If We Were a Love Song.
A black and white photo of three people. The first person is a woman, Pam Tanowitz, who is only seen from the back. Her hair is up in a clip, she has a pair of glasses on top of her head. She is wearing a black turtleneck and she is watching the two dancers in front of her. The dancer on the left is slightly bent forward with their arms hanging in front of them and their head is down. The dancer on the right has one of their legs kicked up and bent in the air. They are slightly bending backwards. Choreographer Pam Tanowitz and her dancers in rehearsal. Still from DANCERS (Slightly Out of Shape).
Dancer Melissa Toogood, a fair skinned woman, appears in three different panels in a black and white image. The first panel is a side profile of her face. Her hair is up in a ponytail that slightly whips in the air. The second panel is a zoomed-in image of her thighs adorned in leg warmers and shorts. The third panel is an image of her in a squatting position as if she just landed from jumping. Dancer Melissa Toogood of Pam Tanowitz Dance. Still from DANCERS (Slightly Out of Shape).
A black and white photo of dancer Melissa Toogood, a fair skinned woman in a long-sleeved, black t-shirt with leg warmers and shorts. She is standing in socks in a pose where her head is thrown back and her right leg is crossed in front of her left leg. Her arms hang close to her side. Dancer Melissa Toogood of Pam Tanowitz Dance. Still from DANCERS (Slightly Out of Shape).
The screen is divided into a grid of 5 sections. Alice is repeated in three sections. Alice, a multi-racial Black woman with coffee-coloured skin and curly brown hair, is flying intently towards the camera. Alice arcs so her belly is to the floor and wheels rise behind; thick black cables connect to her from above. The energy feels electric, jolted. In the top corner sections Brandon, a mixed race Black artist with black-brown locs tied half up, signs multiply in
front of a bright white backdrop. Alice Sheppard of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third Productions.
Jerron, a dark-skinned Black man with a beard and twisted black hair, is wrapped in barbed wire that glints as it encircles his chest, palsied left arm, and neck before trailing out of frame. In deep focus, he looks at his right hand as it emerges through the wire. Suspended high above and far right, a blurry Alice is barely visible in the shadows behind Jerron. A multiracial Black woman with short curly hair, Alice arches toward Jerron in curiosity, forming a tight ball. The backdrop glows a deep orange rust color. Jerron Herman and Alice Sheppard of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third Productions.
The screen is divided into 5 sections by black gridlines: Brandon, a mixed race Black artist with hazel brown eyes and black-brown locs tied half up, signs in the two sections and a picture of barbed wire repeats in the top center and bottom sections. The barbed wire spirals loosely in the foreground; its silhouette captured in front of blurry stage lights, windows, and a wheelchair. Orange caption text reads “barbed wire as technology.” Still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third Productions.
A black-lined grid overlays an image of Alice and Laurel outstretched in full horizontal flight. Alice, a multiracial Black woman with short curly hair and coffee-colored skin, and Laurel, a pale white woman with short cropped brown hair, twist and connect in a black sky. Their hands link to each other’s wrists to form a human infinity loop in midair: Laurel on her back and Alice twisting sideways. Their wheelchairs glint in the light. Brandon, a mixed race Black artist with long braids half tied up, signs in the top corners of the screen. Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third Productions.
The screen is divided into a grid of 5 sections. Repeated three times, light reflects brightly off the back of a pale white woman with short cropped hair and a teal top, tipping onto one wheelchair wheel. Laurel’s right arm extends directly out from her shoulder, while her left arm bends to connect with a nearly invisible black cable. She gazes toward her extended arm. The image is mirrored on the bottom grid as if two Laurels were reaching towards each other. Brandon, a mixed race Black artist with long braids half tied up, signs in the top corners and teal font between Laurel’s mirrored arms reads “Wired is an experiment in, and for, disabled dancers.” Laurel Lawson of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third Productions.
Balancing on only the tops of his toes, Jerron leans his whole body forward, and gives his weight into the cables which extend from above to his waist. He is a dark-skinned Black man with a beard and twisted black hair, wearing all white in a black studio space. His right arm bends behind his back as his left clings to his chest. Eyes closed and face relaxed, Jerron is in a moment of pensive release. Stage lights and miscellaneous equipment scatter across in the background. Jerron Herman of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third
A 5-section grid divides the screen. An image of Alice and Laurel in a black studio repeats three times. Alice, a multiracial Black woman with coffee-colored skin and short curly hair, arcs her upper body and extends her arms into a curve as Laurel, a white woman with pale skin, lays on the ground with legs and feet just visible protruding through Alice’s wheels and footplate. Laurel’s bare arms arc from the ground to complete the circle with Alice’s; her face is completely hidden. Brandon, a mixed race Black artist with black-brown locs half tied up, signs in the top
corners of the screen. Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three /Safety Third Productions.