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Four Cinedans festival tips, in a packed weekend

With Kaboom!, Movies that matter, the Pink Film Days and Cinedans all four at the same time, it will be hard to choose next weekend.
Cinedans, dance on screen, is a festival very dear to me, which is where I will be found next weekend. Cinema is, after all, movement, in montage, découpage, action, mise en place. And slowly the realisation that dance and film are a logical combination is starting to penetrate art schools more and more. Remarkably, especially in fine arts courses, students make short films that can be seen at Cinedans. I will definitely keep an eye on the student competition.

Circus is all the way back

One of the specials this year is New Circus. We had with the Circolo festival already seen that the circus is all the way back, and that it has little to do with the stuffy stuff of my youth. At Cinedans, one of the films I'm most looking forward to is Even When I Fall by Sky Neal and Kate McLarnon. The film is about two Nepali girls who are sold to the circus in India as children, released and now found the first circus in Kathmandu, Nepal. A beautifully filmed story of resilience. The film can only be seen online. Too bad, the photography demands a bigger screen than that of a laptop. Seven short films in the New Circus programme can be seen on a big screen, though.

More experimental, but certainly a fine film about women's resilience is the medium-length film Romance by Samantha Shay. Central to the film is Naomi Brito, the first transgender dancer at Tanztheater Wuppertal. Her transition benefited from the female roles she danced. Shot in the characteristic but dilapidated rehearsal studio, Romance intertwines past and present, documentary and fiction, and then is also based on a short story by Miranda July. I enjoyed it.

Resilience and revolutionary power

Resilience is an understatement when it comes to the Iranian women fighting under the slogan Woman, Life, Freedom. I have the utmost respect for these women. So I was very impressed by the short film dedicated to those who lost their lives in the demonstrations. Until by Iranian choreographer and maker Tanin Torabi has an almost oppressive sense of urgency. The film is shot with small cameras, maybe even just phones on selfie sticks. We see young people running, falling and dancing. That's it, that's all. But because you know the background against which they do this, it feels like a revolutionary and dangerous act. The film grabbed me by my throat.

Finally, some lighter fare. Calender Girls. Older women dancing to disco music with unicorn slides. The costumes are corny, the music is terrible, but these women also have a story to tell. Of what it's like to age in Florida, about loss and expectations. But also about resilience, refusing to sit behind the geraniums and becoming invisible. And so, a woman who lost her hearing and was thus sent into early retirement as a police officer, is nevertheless cheerful again.

Cinedans is from 24 to 26 March at Eye, IJboulevard in Amsterdam. Online, the festival can be followed until 31 March.

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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