EMPAC announces winners of 2008 DANCE MOViES Commissions

News Type

For Immediate Release TROY, N.Y. — In one work, laser scans of a body are animated in 3D, inscribing the movement of an absent dancer; in another, a solitary figure is hurtled forward–seemingly in a single take of the camera–through an evolving and fanciful urban landscape; and in another, scantily clad hand puppets cope with the effects of global warming to the tune of a 1930s era ditty. EMPAC – the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - announces the four recipients of the 2008 EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission. Chosen from a short list of 28 projects by an international panel of dance-film practitioners, curators and producers, the projects range in format, style and emotional tone: from single-channel video installation to 16mm film, from the spectacular to the surreal. The projects will receive awards ranging from $7,000 to $40,000 and will be premiered in the fall of 2009 at EMPAC. The DANCE MOViES Commission is a program launched to support the creation of new works in which dance meets the technologies of the moving image. As the first major commissioning program for dance film established in the US in 2007, it is already having a significant national and international impact, making the creation of new works possible. The four film projects commissioned in last year’s round will premier at our upcoming opening celebration in October 2008.

EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission 2008 Recipients (in alphabetical order of titles):

Body/traces by digital-media artist Sophie Kahn and choreographer Lisa Parra (USA):
A single-channel video installation reanimating 3D laser scans of the body in motion, resulting in a ghostly imperfect trace of the dancer's movement at human-scale.
Eyes Nose Mouth co-directed by Noemie Lafrance and Patrick Daughters, choreographed by Neomie Lafrance, sound by Brooks Williams:
A dance film in which one take follows a single figure, streaming through fast-changing and surreal environments, ceaselessly swept forward in the flux of urban time.
Looking Forward--Man and Woman directed by Roberta Marques, choreographed and performed by Michael Schumacher and Liat Waysbort (Brazil, Holland):
The third film in a trilogy experimenting with the reversing of movement and time in video and dance, creating mind-binding illusions in partnering while on a Sunday walk on the beach.
Sunscreen Serenade directed and choreographed by Kriota Wellberg, sound by Carmen Borgia, illustration and design by R. Sikoryak (USA):
A global-warming themed, Depression-era musical, populated by hand puppets.

The selection panel comprised Leonel Brum (Brazil), Lynette Kessler (USA), Christina Molander (Sweden), Laura Taler (Canada), Hélène Lesterlin, 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 24 short-listed projects.

Stats for 2008

Selected from over 100 applications, of which 28 were short-listed, the 4 funded projects represent the second round of awards given out through the EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission. In this year’s pool, 80% of initial proposals came from the US, 7% from Canada, 9% from Argentina, 3% from Brazil, 1% from Mexico.

Shortlisted proposals (in alphabetical order of titles):

Amy O’Neal (USA)
Across the Road
Colin Gee, Erin Gee (USA, Ireland)
Amazona Mona
Jane Parrott, Florent Ghys, Elizabeth Ward, Kevin Lovelady (USA)
Cari Ann Shim Sham, Kyle Ruddick, Rachel Lincoln (USA)
Carmen’s Café
Jill Emerson, Micah Magee (USA, Germany)
Deborah Hay - installation
Ellen Bromberg, Deborah Hay, Jim Agutter, John Toenjes (USA)
Alexandria Yalj, Daniel Corral, Pascal Rekoert (USA)
Duo in Zero Gravity
Bruna De Araujo, Maura Baiocchi, (USA, Brazil)
Half Life
Olive Bieringa, Otto Ramstad (USA)
Human Locomotion
Evann Siebens, Yannis Adoniou (Canada)
Jump Splatter and Roll
Laura Marguiles, John-Mario Sevilla, Becky Jung, Josh Neretin (USA)
Morphic Resonance (milk, bottles and birds)
Alix Lambert, Flora Wiegmann, (USA)
Perfect Surf
Jenny Rogers, Clove Galilee, Jamie McElhinney (USA)
Kenneth Sherman, Shay Kuebler (Canada)
Se Vira–Turn Yourself Around
Regina Miranda, Margaret Williams (Brazil, UK)
Elizabeth Leister, Rae Shao-Ian Blum, Peter Musselman (USA)
Tiago Romagnani, Alejandro Ahmed (Brazil)
Jason Akira Somma, Benoit Pioulard, Joe Sanchez (USA)
The 18th Parallel: India
Jodi Kaplan, Lois Greenfield (USA)
The Collection
Rosene Chamecki, Andrea Lerner, Phil Harder (USA)
The Ratracers
Lisa Truttman, Celeste Campos, Rocio Castaneda, Josefina Centurion, Julia de la Torre, Hernan Delu, Martin Daniel Ferreira (Argentina, Austria)
Slivina Cortes, Javier Gorleri, Pablo Fermani, Sergio Berto (Argentina)
Sha Xin Wei, Soo yeon Cho, Desh Fernando (Canada)
Urban Motion Poetry
Marino Ramis, Carolina Cappa, Santiago Nunez, Luciano Munoz (Argentina)

Background on the DANCE MOViES Commission

The works supported by the DANCE MOViES Commission are experimental dance works for the screen which vary widely in content and form, yet are united by the fact that they are crafted by a choreographer or movement-based artist. EMPAC has shown films and videos of this kind on the Rensselaer campus through its DANCE MOViES series. DANCE MOViES Commissions may be narrative-based works, abstract works, or may use tools such as computer processing, motion capture, simulation, animation, image processing, and post-production technologies, and some may even extend the confines of the single screen to multiple screens or projections. The EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commissions are awarded through a competitive open proposal process. The deadline for the next round is February 11, 2009.


EMPAC – the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center – is a place and a program where the arts challenge and alter our technology and technology challenges and alters the arts. Founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC is an arts institution that draws strength from being part of a great research university. It operates nationally and internationally: attracting innovative artists, both renowned and emerging, from around the world; offering artists, researchers, and audiences opportunities that are available nowhere else under a single roof; providing unsurpassed facilities for creative exploration, and for research in fields such as visualization and movement capture; sending new artworks onto the global stage.


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 www.rpi.edu. For more information on EMPAC, the public may visit www.empac.rpi.edu

October 8, 2008