Four new dance film projects chosen for the EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission 2007!

News Type

For Immediate Release TROY, N.Y. — EMPAC - the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - announces four projects have been selected by an international panel for this year’s round of the EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission. With awards ranging from $7,000 to $42,000, the works represent the first commissions given out through this new program. The winning proposals include a poetic video based on the biography of an African choreographer living in the US, who returns to dance her story in Zimbabwe; a project from Argentina in which a group of dance improvisers use a narrow hallway to create an elegant, abstract, and lively piece of pure movement and form; a dance film featuring US veterans who have recently returned from Iraq; and a work combining the aesthetic of video surveillance in post-Soviet Russia and the filmed movements of a contemporary Russian dancer. The DANCE MOViES Commission is a program launched by EMPAC to support the creation of new works in which dance meets the technologies of the moving image. The Commission is supported by EMPAC’s Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. It is open to artists based in North and South America who are making video, film and installation work. As the first major commissioning program for dance film established in the US, it is already having a significant national and international impact, making the creation of new works possible, and inspiring artists in the field to form new collaborations. This year, the four projects chosen are all single-channel video works which will premiere at EMPAC in the fall of 2008.

EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission 2007 Recipients (in alphabetical order of titles):

Kino-Eye directed by Joby Emmons and Elena Demyanenko (USA) Nora Chipaumire: A Physical Biography directed by Alla Kovgan and David Hinton, choreographed by Nora Chipaumire with Souleymane Badolo, soundscore by Thomas Mapfumo, produced by Joan Frosch (USA/Zimbabwe) Pasillo created by David Farias, Carla Schillagi and Maria Fernanda Vallejos (Argentina) Soldier directed/choreographed by Victoria Marks, directed by Margaret Williams (USA/UK) The selection panel consisted of Silvina Szperling (Argentina), Bob Lockyer (UK), Gaelen Hanson (USA), Solange Farkas (Brazil), Hélène Lesterlin, the dance curator at EMPAC, and Johannes Goebel, the director of EMPAC. See the DMC commision bios for more info on the panel. See below, for the complete list of the 28 short-listed projects.

Stats for 2007

Selected from 163 applications, of which 28 were short-listed, the 4 funded projects represent the first awards given out through this inaugural round of the EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission. In this year’s pool, 82% of initial proposals came from the US, 10% from Canada, 4% from Argentina, with artists also applying from Uruguay, Paraguay, France and the UK. Three of the recipients are primarily US-based, while one is from Argentina.

Shortlisted proposals (in alphabetical order of titles):

Contemporary Motion Studies
Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Melanie Aceto (Canada/USA)
curtain call
Goat Island (US)
John Jesurun, Neil Greenberg, Zeena Parkins (US)
Figured Ground
Eric Rosenzveig, Liz Gerring, Willy Le Maitre (Canada/US)
Gone (Remembering Where You Came From)
Kenneth Sherman, Noam Gagnon (Canada)
Andrea Haenggi, Sergei Franklin, Mari Kimura (US)
Insuperable Resurgence
Pooh Kaye, John Kilgore (US)
Land Me Here
Troika Ranch (US)
Margarita Bali (Argentina)
Kwabena Slaughter (US)
Paroles Trouvées
Andrea Davidson, Dominique Besson (France/Canada)
Pater Noster
Daniel Conrad, Aszure Barton (Canada/US)
Perfect Surf
Jenny Rogers and Clove Galilee (US)
Evann Siebens (Canada)
Cari Ann Shim Sham* (US)
Strange Attractors
Kathleen Fitzgerald, Tom Pearson, Zach Morris (US)
The child of yours eyes
Javier Valdez (Paraguay)
The Emergent Improvisation Project (working title)
Susan Sgorbati, Elliot Caplan, Jake Meginsky (US)
The Fish Aria
Maria Kefirova, Olivier Baier (Canada)
The Garbage Pickers
Mauricio Wainrot, Allison Murray, Kathleen M. Smith (Argentina/Canada)
the root of the tree
Britt Randle, Caroline Niklas-Gordon (Canada)
Tipping Point
KT Niehoff, Sarah Murat (US)
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company (US)
The Whole River
Olive Bieringa, Otto Ramstad, Brian Harnetty (US)

Please contact Hélène Lesterlin for any further information (518.276.3918 /


Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of America's leading research universities, with a student body of 5,100 undergraduates, 1,800 graduate students in residential programs, and 2,800 students in distance programs and at Rensselaer at Hartford. Rensselaer is known for providing an undergraduate education of undisputed intellectual rigor based on exceptional pedagogical innovation and has earned distinction in interactive learning and the application of information technology to education. Faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research in fields ranging from microelectronics to computational modeling and simulation, mathematical finance, advanced materials, environmental studies, lighting, and electronic arts. Fostering technological entrepreneurship, Rensselaer operates three business incubators, with a technology park that is home to some fifty companies. For more information on Rensselaer, the public may visit the university's web site at For more information on EMPAC, the public may visit Contact: Hélène Lesterlin (Curator, Dance, EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) Press inquiries: 518.276.3918 General inquiries: 518.276.3921 /

June 1, 2007