"Dancing is my gift and my life... God gave me this gift to bring delight to others. I am haunted by the need to dance. It is the purest expression of every emotion, earthly and spiritual. It is happiness." said Anna Pavlova, one of the greatest dancers of all times.
We might have transformed most of our entertainment to TV and internet in the comfort of our homes but one of the undying and irreplaceable arts is dance. October 13-14 at Marilyn Monroe Theatre which is a part of Lee Strasberg's Institute in West Hollywood, I had the amazing opportunity to watch 10 stories about relationships, society and humanity expressed almost entirely by dance and movement.
The minimalistic and simply beautiful dance film Fields Of London opened the program, followed by
No Walls, which sent a strong message about humanity and understanding. That was followed by
A New Leaf- an emotional performance by Juli Kim accompanied by a haunting soundtrack by Michael Kim- Sheng.
Next was a live performance Kannamuchi, followed by a traditional Korean dance
Salpuri and an exploration of the journey of our goals called
Some of the final pieces of the program turned darker and more provocative- the short film In
Memorium, a tribute to all people who are killed during attacks around the world is probably one of my personal favorites. I really enjoyed the visuals and the unapologetic portrayal of pain and its raw emotionality.
Another short that made a huge impact on me was Everything U Think is True which was one of two films with a narrative. An excellent performance by Grace Maxwell and the original spoken word by Prince made a perfectly enjoyable combination.
Empathetic Aphrodite was another film with a narrative which showed a couple going through an emotional turmoil. Expressive and dramatic acting by Ida Victoria and Alex Isenberg made it so real that it felt almost like voyeuristic experience- and believe me that's the best compliment an actor can get for creating an experience that feel almost too real.
The last film Other was icing on a cake- a beautifully performed duet exploring questions of identity and the shifting nature of relationships.
I really enjoyed all performances and dance films and I would like to remind all the film, dance and art lovers that it's not too late to show your support to all those people who were blessed with an amazing talent and were courageous and bold enough to pursue it.
Finalists in the Short + Sweet Hollywood Festival will give encore performances starting October 18th at Marilyn Monroe Theatre in West Hollywood.