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Culture news, 07.04.2009 13:09

Festival of Dance Cinema Brings World's Best to City

dancecinema_petersburg This week sees the opening of the sixth international dance cinema festival in St. Petersburg. Featuring long and short films from as far afield as Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, and Zimbabwe, the festival promises to serve up a tantalising array of the creme de la creme of dance cinema from around the world.

This year’s ambitious theme — Choreography in Cinema in all its Shapes and Forms — extends beyond the big screen to “reveal new dimensions of the art form,” according to the festival’s founder and director, Vadim Kasparov.

While the majority of the festival’s screenings will be shown at the Rodina cinema on Karavannaya Ulitsa, the ProArte Foundation, Poterna exhibition hall, French Institute and iClub will hold workshops, lectures, additional screenings and an installation to complement the core program of films.

The celebration of dance in film is set to kick off on Thursday with a revival screening of Dziga Vertov’s newly rediscovered 1929 classic silent film Man with a Movie Camera, accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra’s highly-acclaimed live score.

For the first time, the festival is working in tandem with the city’s French Institute to showcase a retrospective of the best French cinematic choreography by such big names as Josef Nadj, Anjelin Preljocaj, Rachid Ouramdane and Alain Platel. The highlight of the retrospective will be an evening with Dominique Delouche, a key figure in French cinema and adept of ballet on the big screen, at Rodina on Sunday.

In parallel with these cinematic delicacies, from Tuesday audiences will have the opportunity to see the Peter and Paul Fortress in a new light thanks to the Open Ended Group’s installation “Point A->B” at the Poterna exhibition center. The American duo’s work draws its inspiration from parkour — “the urban sport in which the goal is to get from point A to point B as rapidly, as inventively, and often as dangerously as possible,” and will be accompanied by a workshop for artists and programmers at the iClub (Bolshaya Konushennaya Ulitsa 12/10), on Wednesday 8, and a screening and talk about their creative practices at the ProArte Foundation on Tuesday 14 at ProArte (Peter and Paul Fortress, Left Side).

The festival looks set to go out with a bang on Saturday 18 with an all-night extravaganza at Rodina cinema, showing original short films from Eastern Europe, the CIS and the Baltic states. The winner of the third Dance Film competition will be announced at the closing ceremony.

By Aimee Linekar

The St. Petersburg Times

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