Tag Archives: poetics


Friday and Saturday 19/20th March if you are in the US (or Sat 21March if you are in the UK/ Australia) there are two more Paper Panels, one Roundtable of Screendance Festivals and online audiences, and to conclude Tea with the International Journal of Screendance Editorial Board.

Below an extract from Vilma Tihilä’s panel presentation from last weekend, Roundtable: After quarantine: The future of screendance;

What is behind the words? What is before the words? What is it, that one can only know by feeling it, or experiencing it? What is it which can not be explained with words? What is the vocabulary for a language with no words?

These are a few of the questions I often return in my work. For me the potential, the excitement and the challenge in dance film making is to find the ideas, the techniques, and the combinations which deal with these questions in practice. And the key approach for me in this practice is poetics.

Dance film in its physical, visual and aural languages has a poetic approach, and through that it offers radical, self-reflective, fluid and innovative strategies to address questions in meaning making, communication and storytelling. And this is the power of screendance. Through the poetic strategies screendance can challenge thinking and doing in the fields of cinema, dance, media arts, visual arts and so on.

A poetics in dance film for me, links with feminist issues, intersectional perspectives and fluid mechanics of passing dichotomies, categories and roles assigned. Asking not only what but more importantly how.

Vilma Tihilä (b. 1991) is a Finnish film director specializing in dance film. Tihilä holds a Master of Arts in Screendance from London Contemporary Dance School and a degree in contemporary dance from Turku Conservatory. She has also studied physical cinema at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. Tihilä’s films have been screened at various festivals internationally including Loikka Dance Film Festival in Finland, Quinzena de Dança de Almada in Portugal, F-O-R-M Festival in Canada, and Video-poetry Festival in Argentina, among others.

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