The 4th St. Petersburg International Dance Film Festival "KINODANCE"
will take place in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Ekaterinburg,

November 7 - November 29, 2004.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

I am thrilled to announce that the 4th St. Petersburg International Dance Film Festival KINODANCE takes place in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Ekaterinburg between November 10- November 29, 2004. The Kannon Dance School is the main host of the festival which is made possible by the support from Trust for Mutual Understanding (USA), ProArte Institute (St. Petersburg), Dance Films Association (USA), The Cultural Center DOM (Moscow), Museum of Cinema (Moscow), Ekaterinburg Contemporary Art Center, Northampton Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, to whom we are eternally grateful.

We have grown from presenting three programs of dance films in 2001 to eleven programs in 2004. The programs combine films from 18 countries: United Kingdom, USA, Canada, France, Japan, Island, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, and Russia.

The programs are a true showcase of ideas for dance film collaborations. The artists demonstrate a stunning diversity of approaches to making dance films and exploration of choreographic space within the frame. One of the festival programs collages music videos and fast-paced shorts realized through digital technologies such as “Imagine” by Zbigniew Rybchinsky and Yoko Ohno in “Program XI: Common Ground: Between the Lines of Sport, Kinetics, Surrealism and Music Video”. The full-length dance film features such as “Dracula: Tales From a Virgin's Diary” by Guy Maddin, “Amelia” by Édouard Lock (from Canada) and “Dancing Figure (Táncalak)” by Ferenc Grunwalsky and Andrea Ladányi (from Hungary) are among the highlights. Dance documentaries about Lester Horton, German artists (including Mary Wigman) during the Nazi Era, the lost ballet of Sergei Dyagilev, Pina Bausch’s revival of her performance with a group of seniors and one about Dances of Ecstasy from around the world offer historical perspective. Some films draw attention to and explore a single dance form such as BUTOH or a single region – like one program which showcases films from Scandinavian countries and Iceland. Some films in the program contain surreal and fantastic narratives like the one in chrysallis by Olivier Metagon with Wayne McGregor others explore dance as means to express ideas about social issues of every day life such as Cost of Living by Lloyd Newson from DV8 in “Program X: From the Festivals around the world”.

Among the international guests artists and curators are Daniele Wilmouth (USA), Édouard Lock (Canada), Anna-Karin Larsson (Sweden), Arai Misao (Japan) and an intermedia performance group of Alissa Cardone, Harriett Jastremsky and Dedalus Wainwright (USA).

This year KINODANCE hosts the 1st Russian Dance Film Competition, an exhibition of dance films made in Russia within recent years. The director and choreographer winners will be awarded a grant to create a new dance film while the films finalists will be presented during the Monaco Dance Forum in December 2004.

Photo: Guy Maddin shooting "Dracula"
Program I: Dance Film Magicians” draws the parallels between dance film and silent cinema. The program features a cult director from Canada Guy Maddin who is often called “Canadian David Lynch” for his distinctive style and unique vision. The program presents his dance film “Dracula: Tales From a Virgin's Diary” that won an International Emmy in 2002. The film combines sensuous dance with pantomimed scenes and inter-titles, richly reminiscent of silent films. Passionately danced by the members of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Dracula is shot in dramatic black and white with splashes of bold red, set to the epic music of Gustav Mahler. Dracula is preceded by Heart of the World, an original example of “montage choreography” and at the same time, a brilliant breathless parody of silent Soviet propaganda films.

Photo by
Alexander van der Meer
In the documentary “4 Emperors and One Nightingale” by Alexander van der Meer (Netherlands), “Program II: Dance History: Ballets Russes” tells a story about the lost ballet "Le Chant du Rossignol” based on a fairytale by Hans Andersen, produced by Sergey Diaghilev for his Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, to music by Igor Stravinsky, with costumes and decor by Henri Matisse and choreography by George Balanchine. This ballet made the 14-year-old nightingale Alicia Markova into a star. In 1999 the ballet was painstakingly reconstructed by two "ballet archaeologists”, and performed again by Les Ballets de Monte Carlo at the Holland Dance Festival in The Hague. How does one go about reconstructing a lost ballet? And why? This documentary for Dutch and Belgian TV tries to find answers to these questions. The film won the Best Documentary award at the Dance Screen 2002 in Monte Carlo.

Photo by Jean-Francois Berube
“Program III: Dance Film Choreographer in Focus: Édouard Lock” continues KINODANCE tradition of showcasing work by a particular dance film artist and presents “AMELIA”, a directorial debut of one of the most known Canadian choreographers Édouard Lock who is expected to make an appearance and answer questions after the screening. “Amelia”, the ballet, received rave reviews when performed in Moscow in September 2003 as the Opening production of Dance Inversion Festival at the Stanislavskii Theatre. Over 25 years, Édouard Lock has headed his company “La La La Human Steps” and collaborated with some of the worlds leading dance companies and artists from Paris Opera Ballet to David Bowie and Frank Zappa, garnering international acclaim for originality, vision, and structure. In “AMELIA”, the exquisite performance and grace of La La La Human Steps is brilliantly complemented by the striking cinematography of André Turpin, transcendent music by David Lang, lyrics by Lou Reed and sets designed by Édouard Lock. It appears that Amelia is fully realized on screen rather than on stage.

Photo by Charles Van Manaan
“Program IV: Dance History: Lester Horton” introduces Russian audiences to yet another modern dance hero. Unlike Martha Graham, Lester Horton (1906-1953) is less known to the Russian audience, although he is regarded as one of the founders of American modern dance. He developed a unique style of technique and choreography, established the first permanent theater in America devoted to dance, and organized one of the first integrated modern dance companies. The documentary “Genius on the Wrong Coast” by former Horton company member Lelia Goldoni is a portrait of Lester Horton, his life and career. Interviews with Hortons disciples (from the filmmaker herself to Alvin Ailey) and members of Lester Horton Dance Theatre, dance historian, critics, and friends are intertwined with archival photographs and footage capturing key moments from the master's life.

Photo by Lilo Mangelsdorff

Photo: Aurél von Milloss, "Petruschka“, 1940 © WDR/Savio
The evening “Program V: Dance History” is composed of two documentaries from Germany. “Dance under the Swastika” by Annette von Wangenheim (presented in collaboration with WDR) wonders about the use of dance by the Nazi regime, and reveals the fates of key artists –Julia Marcus, Lilian Karina and Gyp Schlicht. The film raises the questions how and why even founders of modern dance, such as Mary Wigman and Rudolph Laban, aligned themselves with, and were initially supported by, the Nazis. The second documentary in the program “Ladies and Gentlemen after 65” by Lilo Mangelsdorff tells a story about what happened with 26 people over 65 who chose to participate in the revival of Pina Bausch’s 1978 performance-piece "Contact Zone.”

Photo by Michelle Mahrer
“Program VI: Beyond the Stage: Dances of Ecstasy” gives yet another dimension to the dance film genre by presenting a documentary “Dances of Ecstasy” by Australian directors Michelle Mahrer and Nicole Ma. “Dances of Ecstasy” explores how different communities around the world connect with a spiritual dimension through dance and rhythm. In these rituals, Whirling Dervishes from Turkey, Orisha priestesses from Nigeria, Shaman healers from the Kalahari, and dancers in a Gabrielle Roth workshop in New York, pulse to the same beat as thousands of young people at an all night techno dance party in an Australian forest. The film is an inspiration to dance and reconnects with a sense of the sacred that many have lost touch with in modern life.

Photo by Misao Arai
Emerging in the late 1950s Japan, the dance movement known as Butoh is one of Japan’s key contributions to the avant-garde. KINODANCE hosts a two-part program “Program VII: Dance Form in Focus: BUTOH” Part 1 is dedicated to Tatsumi Hijikata. It features a documentary "A Summer Storm by Hijikata Tatsumi: 2003~1973 Hangi-dai-to- kan" by the acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Misao Arai who will be in person to introduce the film and talk about this legendary performer. The film contains some of the most rare footage of Hijikata's performance in Kyoto in 1973.

Photo by Daniele Wilmouth

Daniéle Wilmouth from Chicago will present Part 2 of the program that included several of her own films as well as a collection of rarely seen historical & contemporary Butoh titles. Films with such masters as Tasumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno as well as New York based artists Eiko and Koma are part of the program.

Photo by Reynir Lyngdal
“Program VIII: Nordic Winds” consists of two separate parts. Part I is a collection of films titled “Moving North”. “Moving North”, produced by Norwegian Magne Antonsen and Danish Vibeke Vogel, combines the talents of Nordic choreographers and filmmakers from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland who were selected by the international jury of renown dance filmmakers from around the world to produce 10 short films that would explore the magic power of dance film genre. The result is 10 dance film shorts, and each of them uses a different language of expression –from martial arts dance to classical dance, from ethnic dance to animated dance, from everyday dance to trance and ecstasy dance, from humorous dance to thoughtful dance… The program has been broadcast at television stations around the world. Part II of “Nordic Winds” is a “Swedish Dance Film Retrospective 1981-2003” brought to KINODANCE by Anna-Karin Larsson, the curator and producer of the Filmform Foundation in Stockholm who is also a head of the Swedish dance film archiving project. The program is an eclectic mix of Swedish shorts made within the last twenty years. Among the artists included in the program are Virpi Pahkinen, Cristina Caprioli, Anne Külper, Szyber/Reich and others.

Photo by Ferenc Grunwalsky
“Program IX: Fantasmagoria from Eastern Europe” is a unique chance to glimpse at the state of dance film of our Eastern neighbors. It is not surprising that in these films the audience will be able to trace the spirit of Eastern European Literature, Theatre and Cinema. The films are full of phantasmagoric narratives and characters, dark humor and sarcasm, surreal hyperbolized sets and design along with lyricism, romantic sadness, and eternal quest for perfection and redemption of the soul through deep suffering. The program consists of two films. A feature “Dancing Figure (Táncalak)” from Hungary is “an extraordinary symbiosis of the modern dance of Andrea Ladányi, the music of György Kurtág, and Ferenc Grunwalsky's own talent as a director and cinematographer” who has been a long collaborator to Miklós Jancsó, one of the most famous Hungarian directors. For this film Ferenc Grunwalsky won a prize for the Visual Expression at the 34th Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, in 2003. The second film in the program “Narava Beso” is from the company En-Knap (Slovenia), familiar to Russian audiences thru their film “DOM SVOBODE” screened at the KINODANCE 2003. The film is yet another virtuosic adventure of En-Knap dancers at a mining plant in their home town of Trbovlje.

Photo by Lloyd Newson
“Program X: From the Festivals around the world” is not to be missed. It is a collection of films recently awarded at dance film festivals around the world. The new work “Cost of Living” from the renown British group DV8 bridges dance film and documentary genres to tell a story of two street performers struggling to get by in a seaside town. In “chrysalis ['krizlis]” from France by Olivier Mégaton, Wayne McGregor, one of the most talented young dancers in Britain, constructs a surprising fantasy world in which he is half-insect, half-human. Another highlight of the program is “Uzes Quintet” by Catherine Maximoff , a cinematic tale interpreted by five choreographers, where each of the characters creates strange echoes with its environment. “Human Radio” by Miranda Pennell, the award-winning dance filmmaker from UK, catches people dancing in private moments in London during the summer of 2001. The film was nominated for the Screen Choreography award at the Monaco Dance Forum in 2002. Finally, the animated short “When I am little again” is a biographical sketch of a Jewish family in search of the post- World War II healing. The film is created by Kareen Balsalm and our former compatriot Vita Berezina-Blackburn who is currently living in Ohio, USA, and teaches classes in Dance and Technology at the Ohio State University.

Photo by Alex Reuben
“Program XI: Common Ground” collages sport, performance art, popular dances and music video to present a diverse palette of dance film interpretations. Zbigniew Rybczynski, the world famous filmmaker and animator from Poland, collaborates with Lou Reed and Yoko Ohno to create music videos for their tunes "Original Wrapper" and "Imagine" (by John Lennon). Rachel Davies (UK) presents two fast-paced shorts. While “GOLD” explores the skills and playful competition of two gymnasts in the local suburban gym club, “Loose in Fight” depicts elegant pas of Akram Khan, the talented choreographer of Indian origin living in the UK, who mixes classical Indian Dance Kathak with western contemporary dance. “When Dancers Go Bowling” by Michael DeMirjian is a true celebration of MTV style shot by Steve Andrich, one of the United States' premiere sports cinematographers. Among other highlights are “Line Dance” by Alex Reuben (UK) in which a sultry Brazilian song gets two stick figures to dance then multiply and explode into colors; “On a Wing and a Prayer” by Narelle Benjamin (Australia) – a private meditation of a young nun interpreted through the virtuosic yoga movement; “image/Word.not_a_pipe=” by Evann Siebens (US) –an exploration of Magritte’s painting “Everyman”; a three-minute kinetic short “Walkabout of Alices” by Simona Da Pozzo is from Italy; “Cantique #1” – a directorial debut by the world famous Canadian choreographer Marie Chouinard (a jury winner of the Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video in Toronto, 2004); and finally “Body, body on the wall” by Jan Fabre , one of the most interesting artists in Belgium who is a sculptor, choreographer and set designer. The film stars Wim Vandekeybus –a provocative choreographer and performer from Belgium. “Body, body on the wall” continues Jan Fabre’s “systematic investigation into the manifestations of the Foucaultian body: philosophical, desiring, dancing, thinking, toiling, inventorising, anatomic and spiritual."

The Closing Program of the festival is a unique event – a priemiere screening of Boris Barnett's masterpiece of the 30s "Dom na Trubnoi" ("House at Trubnaya place") with live accomponiment of Aleksei Aigui and his ensemble 4:33. Aleksei Aigui is one of the first Russian composer who began to compose intricate and original scores to the silent Soviet films of the 30s. The film and the music are full of unique findings. The film's kinetic nature and editing techniques bridge to the ones of the dance film genre.

I would like to thank my dear partner Vadim Kasparov, Kannon Dance School and Svetlana Gorban for all the dedication, generosity and sleepless nights. I am also eternally grateful to Deirdre Towers, my collegue from Dance Films Association (New York) (, for all her support while I was putting this program together; to Magne Antonsen and Anna-Karin Larsson for making possible Nordic Winds program; to Daniele Wilmouth and Alissa Cardone for bringing a collection of rarely seen Butoh films.

Enjoy the programs,
Alla Kovgan
International Director and Festival Programmer

KINODANCE continues looking for dance films and videos produced by film / video makers and choreographers / dancers in the countries of Eastern Europe and of the former Soviet Union. We are hoping to put together programs of dance films from Eastern Europe, to hold their screenings and offer them to different venues around the world.



For this particular program we are looking for dance films created as a result of an interaction between two languages - one of film and one of dance that come together to express a certain idea. In this case DANCE includes any form of dance or performance that involves human body in literal and abstract way - body lines, shapes, etc. While FILM includes any kind of media - celluloid film, video, computer graphics, animation, etc.

Categories of dance film:
adaptation - filmmaker and choreographer work together to adapt staged choreography to the film/video medium to communicate ideas of already staged choreographic creation (NOT a documentation of a performance);
original collaboration - filmmaker and choreographer work together to create original choreography and film script from scratch to express a certain idea;
virtual dance - filmmaker and/or choreographer use language of film/video medium and new technologies to create dances that can only exist in the film space;
documentary - films that reveal creative process of a dance company, choreographer, dance filmmaker, etc. or tells a story about dance tradition, etc. (NOT a documentation of a performance)


EASTERN EUROPEAN Program is curated and non-competative.

There is NO Entry Fee.

All the return shipping costs will be covered by the Festival.


All preview tapes should be on VHS (PAL) or miniDV (PAL).

The deadline for submissions is on-going

The preview tapes in VHS (PAL) or miniDV (PAL) with completed entry form should be mailed to:

Alla Kovgan, International Director
88 Winslow Ave., #2
Somerville MA 02144

For more information contact Alla Kovgan at (both in English and Russian)

As the programs are curated, the filmmakers will be notified about acceptance of their films. Upon notification, the press materials including film synopsis, biographies of filmmakers / choreographers, stills (in .jpg format) for the website (72dpi) and print (300dpi) should be e-mailed to Alla Kovgan

© Kinodance–Russia, 2004