Tag Archives: words


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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one experience

I had a look at the trailer for a new project by Teddy Forance and others called Movement One.

Fifteen seconds into the trailer, the voiceover (Forance?) says:

It’s always been a dream of mine to combine dance and film into one experience

The thing about this statement that frustrates me is that it seems to imply that this film is something extraordinary or unique, but really it’s just someone using words (any words) to convey ambition and marketing. What does one experience mean? One experience for whom? Audience, choreographer, dancer, filmmaker, camera operator?

Over the entire history of screendance perhaps it is the very few films that haven’t simply combined dance and film that are unique (or extraordinary).

This reminds me of Peter Schmidt’s idea (as told by Brian Eno) of ‘not doing the things that nobody had ever thought of not doing’. If the most basic assumption in screendance is to combine dance and film then it is vital that we continue to search for things that nobody has ever thought of not doing.

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