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Cinedans festival: the images move. So.

Fransien van der Putt, dance expert from Culture Press, and Helen Westerik, film expert, attended the opening of Film Festival Cinedans and were amused, but not always by the programme.

Janine Dijkmeier, director of Cinedans is stepping down after ten years. In the opening programme she personally selected, it was striking how young the dance film as a genre still is. Many contributions show off technical gadgets and optical gimmicks.

In 2003, a wild plan by two ex-dancers, Hans Beenhakker and Janine Dijkmeier, yielded two evenings of fringe programme during Julidans. Anno 2013, Cinedans has grown into a full-fledged, international festival at a spectacular venue, Eye aan 't IJ, with hundreds of entries and its own premieres.

As mentioned, images can be slowed down, sped up, mirrored and played backwards. Today, there are digital cameras that can record motion razor-sharp in slow motion, and there are programmes that let you edit and animate, mirror and multiply motion in incredible ways. But does that make dance film?

Choros (below) is a good example of how not to do it as far as I am concerned.

As "special guest" and documentary filmmaker David Hinton put it pointedly during the opening, "editing is a choreographic device". With his film Breeze, he was part of the programme back in 2003. In addition to stunning edits of found-footage, Hinton made numerous documentaries and, for example, in the early 1990s, two famous dance films with DV8 (Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men and Strange Fish.

During the opening programme, Hinton's film was Snow to see, the only contribution that really went beyond animating impossible stances, situations and perspectives. Instead, it shows Snow images of an unruly reality, winter fun and terrible snowstorm, taken from the old box and very carefully sliced up. Hinton does not try to impress with optical illusion, but shows the fragility of human existence with his equally overt and subtle editing. Whether cheerful daredevilry or dogged perseverance, Hinton always zooms in on much-meaning moments, in which people show with their physical actions, by trial and error, what life is all about.

Also Inearthia By Maren Sandmann and Deep End Dance by Conor Hogan were respectable contributions to the opening. Although both films revolve around a cliché of the dance film, optical illusion and underwater ballet, they do so in an unassuming way that suddenly makes the joy of movement as an existential force once again self-evident centrepiece.

But ideally, one would still like to see the dance film evolve somewhat. In the excellent documentary Aux Limites de la scène by Guillaume Paquin, about the work of Canadian choreographers Dave St-Pierre, Virginie Brunelle and Frédérick Gravel, features no new technical film gimmicks. Life in Montréal is translated in direct ways (love, sex and rock&roll) into dance for the stage. As a somewhat raucous because Canadian version of the Tango. At the same time, the three choreographers speak out, time and again, against pretty-cycling and optical illusion. "Dance might be frivolous, it can be serious too."

a breath of fresh air during a shorts programme that, like the opening, excels in technical ingenuity combined with a frank lack of eloquence

Actually, the Dutch entry closes Irina of T.R.A.S.H. wonderfully aligns with the Canadian expressionist trend of overturning facades and showing unflinching drives. Girls making fun of girls: sometimes it is Irina cruel, at times it also shows the surrender with which only young women can suffer. Anorexia is written somewhere in the margin of this film. The work of directors Kers, Maalderink and choreographer Van Issum is a breath of fresh air during a shorts programme, which, like the opening, excels in technical ingenuity combined with a bearable lack of eloquence.

On Saturday night, I will join Angelika Oei for the third edition of Point Taken: five Dutch premieres. More on that later. Cinedans is on until Saturday 9 March at Eye, Amsterdam. For programme see

By David Hinton at Cinedans on Sunday 3 March is the found footage film All this can happen the see, a collaboration with choreographer Siobhan Davies. Then Helen Westerik is also back in the picture.

Fransien van der Putt

Fransien van der Putt is a dramaturge and critic. She works with Lana Coporda, Vera Sofia Mota, Roberto de Jonge, João Dinis Pinho & Julia Barrios de la Mora and Branka Zgonjanin, among others. She writes about dance and theatre for Cultural Press Agency, Theatererkrant and Dansmagazine. Between 1989 and 2001, she mixed text as sound at Radio 100. Between 2011 and 2015, she developed a minor for the BA Dance, Artez, Arnhem - on artistic processes and own research in dance. Within her work, she pays special attention to the significance of archives, notation, discourse and theatre history in relation to dance in the Netherlands. Together with Vera Sofia Mota, she researches the work of video, installation and peformance artist Nan Hoover on behalf of Author posts

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