Review: GSFF- Dance/Film (N/C 15+),CCA, Glasgow

GSFF Dance on screen


Part of Glasgow Short Film Festival

Can dance on film ever be successfully captured, or does one form outweigh the other? This is the question posed by Scottish Ballet, who present this series of short films containing a myriad of dance and film styles.

From the narrative-driven (Rawad Alzakout’s response to Syrian conflict, 99°, Clara van Gool’s self-explanatory  Voices of Finance; Andrew Margetson’s Portrait of a Dancer) to more splashy, stylised work like the pop video-esque production values of Natalianne Boucher’s choppy,visually restless Continuum, these specially chosen pieces have in common a sense of innovation.

The most ‘cinematic’ piece arguably, in the conventional sense is British director Miranda Pennell’s sly lampoon of westerns (very like Shane Meadows at times) which features an endless parade of surreal stylised violence, to the point of lunacy. Six characters, punch, throw and throttle each other to the backdrop of a deadpan line dancing troupe.

Andrea Sisson and Ryan Heffington and Michael Herny’s pieces serve ‘realness’, in two contemporary dance pieces which both homage and skewer their own reverence to club culture and the 80s ballroom scene.

But the most fascinating are Keisuke Nishizaki’s Impro which has the dancer seemingly improvising to found sounds- from a kettle boiling, to high-speeed trains- mostly shot in her apartment; Wayne Wapeemukwa’s disturbing Balmoral Hotel where Angel Gates defiantly dances and stalks the red light district of Vancouver (very much evocative of Massive Attack’s beautiful Unfinished Sympathy video) and Eve McConnachie’s Maze with Sophie Laplane’s taut and witty routine reduced from the original four to two dancers (Madeline Squire and Javier Andreu), relocated to Govanhill Baths in Glasgow.

A wonderful and challenging sequence for film and dance aficionados alike, which never alienates either.

(Lorna Irvine)


Eve McConnachie directing Maze


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