Author Archives: hbench

IJSD v. 9 Screening the Skin published

We are thrilled to announce the publication of Screening the Skin: Issues of Race and Nation in Screendance, Volume 9 of The International Journal of Screendance. Guest editors Melissa Blanco Borelli and Raquel Monroe have gathered together a wonderful group of artists and scholars for this issue. Their editorial precedes the following articles, provocations, interviews, and reviews, available online in both PDF and HTML formats:

Intimate Visualities: Intimacy as Social Critique and Radical Possibility in Kyle Abraham and Carrie Schneider’s Dance Response Project’s I am Sold and Blood on the Leaves, by Stephanie Leigh Batiste

Dis/Orientation: Rhythmic Bodies and Corporeal Orature in The Fits, by Elena Benthaus

“Fresher Than You”: Commercial Use of YouTube-Native Dance and Videographic Techniques, by Alex Harlig

Scratching the Surface of Spectacle: Black Hypermasculinity and the Television Talent Show, by Laura Robinson

Magic Mike, Dirty Dancing, and the (Empty) Promise of Heteromasculinity, by Addie Tsai

Choreographing “ChinAfrica” through Transnational Encounter, by Jingqiu Guan

Curatorial Practices for Intersectional Programming, by Cara Hagan

Narrative Shifts: Race, Culture, and the Production of Screendance, by Marcus White

Danced Out: When Passing for Almost Straight Is Not Enough, by Mark Broomfield

A Conversation with Abbey, by Michael Sakamoto and Angella Betina Carlos

Bodies in Confined Sites, or, ‘When You Go Out, Let Them Know That We Are Not Monsters’, by Ariadne Mikou

We thank and congratulate the guest editors and contributors for their hard work. We invite you to spend time with the newest issue, browse older issues, submit to our next issue, and to share IJSD with colleagues and students. IJSD is an open-access journal, and we thank The Ohio State University Libraries for supporting this enterprise. We additionally thank the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University for their ongoing support.

With best wishes,
Harmony Bench and Simon Ellis
Editors of The International Journal of Screendance

Call for Submissions of Screendance for the Conference Jews and Jewishness in the Dance World at Arizona State University, October 2018

On Saturday evening, October 13th, 2018, the Jews and Jewishness in the Dance World Conference will present an evening of curated dance films as a conference offering and is seeking submissions.

Echoing the conference description, the scope, definition and audience for this call for submissions is deliberately broad and inclusive. Works submitted should address some of these concerns:

  • Without settling on a singular notion of a Jewish point of view, does the perspective of this film present a Jewish one?
  • How is experience, memory, tradition, identity, struggle, celebration framed through a notion of Jewishness?
  • What are the cultural/geographical/historical lenses through which those experiences are presented/seen?
  • Are notions of “Jewishness” reflected in the perspective of the choreographer, the cinematic and/or editing choices, the identities of the performers, the movement vocabularies, the locations, and thematic content of the work, i.e., immigration, social justice, progressive human rights, health and well–being, etc.?
  • How have Jews re-presented the dancing body and how are those bodies placed within the site of screendance?
  • How can the camera bring Jewish dancing bodies of color and diverse ethnicities to the screen?
  • How have Jews contributed to the instantiation and rise of screendance as an art form and how does your work fit into or challenge that trajectory?



Work submitted:

  • Must exemplify the merging of the art form of choreography with cinematography in the genre of screendance and must not be a documentary nor a documentation of a stage performance.
  • Submissions must include a 200 word or less statement that addresses at least one of the above questions/concerns.
  • All dance forms are welcome.
  • Must not be longer than 15 minutes.

There is no limitation as to when the films were created.

There is no submission fee.

Submit to:

Deadline for submissions: July 20, 2018

Questions? Contact Ellen Bromberg:

You can also see this as a shareable PDF at:

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The Work Room launches new online screendance film series

Showcasing Scotland’s dance artists making work for screen
  • 4 new films commissioned by The Space interviewing choreographers and directors about the processes behind making their pieces
  • All of the dance artists are members of Glasgow-based, artist-led dance organisation The Work Room
  • Katrina McPherson, an award-winning director, screen dance artist and author of ‘Making Video Dance’, is producing the artist interviews
  • All films will be available to watch online for free via a new YouTube channel

Glasgow-based dance organisation The Work Room has been commissioned by digital commissioning agency The Space to showcase work from artists experimenting with dance and film, in a new series called ‘In Motion’. The works were created specifically for screen, commenting on subjects as diverse as Brexit, the uncertainty and stress felt when continually being forced to move house, women reclaiming the streets at night, and civil disobedience.

These films highlight how Scotland’s choreographers and dance artists are combining film and dance to make powerful creative expressions about the world we live in.

The first film will be released on Tuesday 3 April and will be streamed live on The Work Room’s Facebook page @theworkroomglasgow as well as available to watch on YouTube.

A new film will be released every Tuesday until 24 April.

Faux Pas, by Stasis
Shot in Glasgow’s Barrowlands, this film reacts against the visual stereotypes of young women often portrayed in mainstream film by showing how the female form can reclaim the streets at night. These women are far from vulnerable as they work closely and collaboratively to make space for themselves and have a riotous time among the industrial backstreets.

Never Walk Alone, by Bridie Gane
A timely piece that explores the UK’s relationship with Europe, Bridie uses extremely slow movement infused with a retro theatricality to produce a wry commentary that will resonate with many.

Movement in Progress, by Lucas Chih-Peng Kao
Taiwanese dancer Kai ended up moving house twelve times in a mere two years whilst living in Glasgow. This part-documentary part-dance performance is a touching story about how it feels to continually be on the move and how we hold onto memories attached to where we live.

Cells of Illegal Education, by Farah Saleh
Between 1988 and 1992, schools and universities in Occupied Palestine were closed by Israeli military rule and those who refused to abide were labelled as ‘cells of illegal education’. In this film, Fareh Saleh reenacts, transforms and deforms gestures that were exercised by students at Birzeit University to take a closer look at the role of civil disobedience in instigating societal change and how their echoes are felt in contemporary times.

Filmmaker and director of In Motion, Katrina McPherson says, For nearly 30 years, based in Scotland and often working internationally, I have made work in collaboration with many different dance artists, and taught the subject all over the world. It makes me particularly happy to see the wealth of activity in this area now happening in Scotland. Dance artists and filmmakers are using whatever technology they have to make movement-based work for screen that explores and communicates ideas, themes and stories they feel passionate about. I am very excited to have the opportunity to share some of this work with you through In Motion, a curated selection of original screen dance works, made in Scotland, and available to watch worldwide online.”

Director of The Work Room, Anita Clark says“We are very excited to be working with The Space to bring screendance from some of Scotland’s independent choreographers to new audiences. The Work Room empowers artists to lead in their practice, and In Motion is enabling us to develop this digitally.”

Fiona Morris, CEO and Creative Director of The Space said, “The Space is delighted to be partnering with The Work Room and supporting the organisation in both building its digital capacity, and ensuring its works are accessible to the widest possible audience.”

Watch the films online at:

Notes for editors

About The Work Room
The Work Room (TWR) is an artist-led organisation, committed to supporting a sustainable environment for independent artists working in dance in Scotland. Our mission is to empower artists to lead in their practice, enabling them to make high quality, pioneering dance for diverse contexts at home and internationally. We are based within Glasgow’s Tramway where we have a studio for choreographic residencies.

The Work Room is supported by Creative Scotland as an RFO and by Glasgow City Council.

About The Space

The Space is a commissioning and development organisation, established by Arts Council England and the BBC to support greater digital access to the arts. The Space is committed to supporting and facilitating the UK arts sector to realise its digital ambitions. The organisation commissions arts projects and provides a production and distribution support to ensure that these projects reach a wide and diverse range of audiences. The Space has supported In Motion through funding from Creative Scotland, Arts Council England, and the BBC.

Katrina McPherson is award-winning screen dance artist, whose single, multi-screen and online works have been presented at venues and festivals world-wide. She trained as a dancer and choreographer at Laban, London after which an early career fascination with the creative possibilities of dance and the moving image took her to art college to study video art. A number of works directed by Katrina are held in collections including Lux Artists’ Moving Image UK, Routledge Performance Archive and the British Council. She is a director of arts programmes for UK television making films for BBC, Scottish Television and Channel Four, and was co-director of Goat Media Productions from 2001-2015.  Katrina has taught screen dance in the UK, Australia, Germany, USA, Canada and China and she is the author of Making Video Dance (Routledge 2006), the first workbook for screen dance which is used as a core text for courses at universities world-wide, with a new edition due out in the summer 0f 2018.

The International Journal of Screendance Volume 8: Solo/Screen now online


IJSD 8 (2017) Solo/Screen. Cover image and design by Carol Breen.

Volume 8 (2017) of The International Journal of Screendance is now available online. Contributors to volume 8 are: Hetty Blades, Kyle Bukhari, Carol Breen, Rosemary Candelario, Marie-Louise Crawley, Cara Hagan, Anna Heighway, Rosemary Lee, Anna Macdonald, Ariadne Mikou, Tracie Mitchell, Eiko Otake, Katja Vaghi, and John White. Volume 8 was edited by Harmony Bench and Simon Ellis with editorial assistance from Carol Breen. Tamara Tomić-Vajagić is Reviews Editor.

Journal website:

Volume 8 direct link:

Be watching for a call for papers for volume 9, guest edited by Melissa Blanco Borelli (Royal Holloway University of London) and Raquel Monroe (Columbia College Chicago) on the theme Screening the Skin: Issues of Race and Nation in Screendance.

The International Journal of Screendance Volume 7: All This: Writings on “All This Can Happen” now online


New International Journal of Screendance issue online: Special issue on “All This Can Happen” by Siobhan Davies and David Hinton, edited by Claudia Kappenberg with Sarah Whatley.


Light Moves festival of screendance 2016 Open Call for Film Submissions

Light Moves festival of screendance has announced its Open Call for Film Submissions for this year’s festival, which takes place in Limerick from 3-6 November 2016.  Filmmakers, choreographers and video artists are invited to submit for consideration screendance works which embrace dance and all forms of movement through the art of film and video art.  Submissions should be made via the festival website  The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday 27 May 2016.  Prizes will be awarded to both established and student practitioners for works submitted via the Open Call.  Full details, terms and conditions are available from

Works which will be considered include:
– Long films exceeding 20 minutes duration to be presented in a cinematic context.
– Short films not exceeding 20 minutes duration to be presented in a cinematic context.
– Short films and video art to be presented on individual displays in a gallery/installation context.
– Documentaries.
– Student films in which the director and/or the choreographer is a registered student on a course up to and including MA level.

In addition to films which embrace dance, submissions that reflect the unique potential of cinematography and sound as well as alternative forms such as animation and computer modelling will also be considered.  While previously screened works are accepted, recent works will be given particular consideration in the selection process.

Announcing the Open Call Jenny Traynor, Director of Dance Limerick which produces Light Moves, said “We’re very excited to announce this year’s Open Call for film submissions for Light Moves.  The standard of work submitted by Irish and international practitioners since the festival began two years ago has been extremely high, so we’re very much looking forward to viewing this year’s entries.  Filmmakers should note our earlier than usual deadline and make sure to have their entries with us by the 27th of May”.

Light Moves is Ireland’s only festival dedicated to the art of dance on film and video art with movement as a central theme, and is a response to the vibrant and expanding field of dance film / screendance in Ireland and internationally.  The festival combines classics, family screenings, invited works, open submissions and explorations of screendance with some of the most respected figures in the field.  Light Moves is curated by Jurgen Simpson and Mary Wycherley and produced by Dance Limerick.  Light Moves is supported by the Arts Council, Limerick City and County Council, Dance Limerick and DMARC, University of Limerick.  See

Light Moves Festival of Screendance 2015 announces Open Call for Papers and Presentations

Light Moves Festival of Screendance 2015 announces Open Call for Papers and Presentations for Symposium “Peeling Away the Layers”
Closing date: Friday 07 August
Festival dates: 19-22 November, Limerick

Light Moves festival of screendance has announced its open call for presentations and paper proposals for inclusion at the Light Moves Screendance Symposium 2015:  ‘Peeling away the layers’.  The symposium sits within the Light Moves festival and aims to encourage artistic and scholarly exchange, debate and discussion in screendance and related disciplines including performance, dance, film, visual arts, sound and text.  Hosted by Dance Limerick and DMARC (Digital Media and Arts Research Centre), University of Limerick, the Light Moves festival and symposium take place in Limerick from 19-22 November 2015.  Proposals should be submitted in PDF format only to by Friday 7th August 2015.  Full details are available from
Proposals for presentations, papers and project discussions are invited from national and international practitioners and scholars.  Experimental and/or group formats of presentation are welcome.  Papers and project presentations may include but are not limited to the following areas:
– Screendance as a language for social, cultural and political conversations.
– Let’s talk about digital: Challenging the allure of High Definition; The ubiquitous camera; Primitive technologies, embracing artefact and rediscovering lo-fi.
– Screendance conventions and the interplay between mainstream and experimental practices.
– Mediating and experiencing time in screendance (uninterrupted, compressed and expanded time).
– Harnessing performativity; liveness in screendance.
– Confronting stereotype (body, dance and location).
Proposals should be no more than 300 words and should include:
– Title of paper or presentation
– A maximum 300 word abstract (including brief description of the questions, concepts and topics to be explored)
– Preferred presentation format/approach
– A short biography
– A/V requirements
– Website links supporting the proposal, if available.

Light Moves festival of screendance 2015 takes place in Limerick from 19-22 November and follows the highly successful inaugural event last year.  Ireland’s only festival of screendance, Light Moves is dedicated to the art of dance film and video art with movement as a central theme. The festival is a response to the vibrant and expanding field of dance film / screendance in Ireland.  Light Moves is curated by Jurgen Simpson and Mary Wycherley and combines classics, family screenings, invited works, open submissions, and explorations of screendance with some of the most respected figures in the field.  Light Moves is supported by the Arts Council, Limerick City and County Council, Dance Limerick and DMARC, University of Limerick.  See

Light Moves 2015 Screendance Symposium Open Call

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Super Human

Last weekend I saw The Avengers (Avengers Assemble in the UK, dir. Joss Whedon). The film, based on Marvel Comics superheroes, features typical Hollywood special effects and an equally typical plot about saving the world—and more specifically Manhattan—from the devastation of alien invasion. Truth be told, I have grown bored with Hollywood superheroes and the lingering anxieties of cultural difference that continue to hide beneath the mask of epic battles between good and evil. What purpose do aliens, superheroes, zombies, and the like collectively serve other than to offer socially approved outlets for xenophobia and megalomania?

As I sat in the theater enveloped in the orange-black hues of onscreen explosions, I allowed my mind to wander and I wondered not only about the superheroes of the comic book variety but also those that have been cropping up in dance. There seems to be a rhetoric around virtuosic dancing that aligns dance with the superhuman. To be sure, the comparison of dancers to gods or superhumans (in a Euro-American context) has been standard fare at least since Nijinsky, but the over-use of slow motion in film and television has surely added to the perception that dancers access something that lies beyond the reach of “normal” human beings. How can anyone dispute the divinity of 2011/Season 8 So You Think You Can Dance (U.S.) winner Melanie Moore when her leap into Neil Haskell’s arms is slowed to keep her aloft like an angel? Time slows for French b-boy Lil Crabe (a.k.a. Arthur Cadre), propping up his balances so as to give viewers adequate time to contemplate his hyper-flexible contortions in the 2012 video “Break Ton Neck” (dir. Aleks Yde). But the link between the dancer and the superhuman has reached new heights with Jon Chu’s Web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, or The LXD, which has been playing on Hulu since the summer of 2010. (For those who can’t access Hulu, videos from the series can also be found on YouTube.)

The format of heroes and villains allows The LXD to showcase truly fabulous movers in dance battles, and the formation of coalitions for good and evil—the Legion on the “good” side, the Alliance of the Dark on the “bad”—offers opportunities for complex group choreography. But like the fistfights and explosions that make superhero movies exciting, dance is both the reason for The LXD’s existence and a recurring disruption. Like many Hollywood dance films in recent memory, good storytelling is sacrificed to good dancing. Eye candy though it may be, The LXD does at least attempt to think outside the limiting frameworks of dance companies, exotic tourist destinations, and “the street” as the only legitimate contexts for popular dance onscreen. Though I find the webisodes aesthetically over-done—overexposed and dizzyingly edited—I appreciate the standard of dance ability the show represents. I still question, however, the usefulness of the superhuman as a model for dance. What does dance stand to gain from investing in this image? Why is dance (still) in need of superheroes?


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The International Journal of Screendance, Issue 2 Now Available!!

Issue # 2, of The International Journal of Screendance now available

Scaffolding the Medium

Scaffolding the Medium brings together a number of historical texts within the context of screendance as part of an endeavor to build a variable scaffolding, one that begins to both create a common knowledge base and also to support a kind of cantilevered interdisciplinarity. This issue contains five curated discussions which each take as their initial premise a key text that speaks to concerns relevant to the discourse of contemporary screendance. Iterative texts by writers including, Martin Heidegger, Amelia Jones, Laura Mulvey, Rosalind Krauss and Pia Ednie-Brown inspire reflections by Ann Cooper Albright, Ann Dils, Kent de Spain, Lisa Naugle and John Crawford, Tom Lopez, Harmony Bench, Hannah Kosstrin, Jason Farman, Melissa Blanco Borelli, Douglas Rosenberg, Virginia Piper, Terry Sprague, Rodrigo Alonso, Claudia Rosiny, Kyra Norman, Miranda Pennell, Augusto Corrieri, Simon Ellis, Dianne Reid and Lucy Cash. Artist’s pages by Adam Roberts, reviews by Scott deLahunta and Claudia Rosiny and a section on Maya Deren by Elinor Cleghorn.  Finally, the issue features a report on the recent Screendance Symposium in Brighton by Claudia Kappenberg and Sarah Whatley.  This issue is edited by Douglas Rosenberg and Claudia Kappenberg.

The International Journal of Screendance is published by Parallel Press at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

For ordering information please see:


Online edition coming soon!!

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