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The Indexical Dance-a-Thon!

A mediated lexicon of how to shoot dance. Remixing her archive of 16mm film and years of dance cinematography, Siebens creates a messy yet emotional montage, using visual phasing to jump-cut across time and individual dancers. Shot in seminal dance environments Ballett Frankfurt in Germany and The Western Front in Canada, the film mixes professional and amateur dancers, probing their gaze and the search for the sublime through simple improvisational gestures.

The Indexical Dance-a-Thon! film is part of a larger gallery installation wherein Siebens creates a personal declaration of 'how to shoot dance' using film, collage, text and projection. Yvonne Rainer’s infamous ‘NO Manifesto’ is re-written for dance technology, while William Forsythe’s alphabet of movement is referenced through 26 channels of media, alphabetized collage and film.

  • Evann Siebens
  • Cora Bos-Kroese, Justine A. Chambers, Kevin Cregan, Jane Ellison, James Gnam, Amy Raymond
    Key Cast
  • Phillip Glass, Etude No. 2, performed by Lisa Moore
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 25, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, Germany
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm film, HD video
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Wil Aballe Art Projects Solo Gallery Exhibition
    February 25, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Dance on Camera Experimental Shorts Program
    New York
    United States
    February 3, 2017
    US Premiere
  • screen.dance festival
    Perth, Scotland
    United Kingdom
    June 3, 2017
  • Cascadia Dance & Cinema Festival
    July 2, 2017
  • dance: made in canada
    August 18, 2017
  • Capital Dance & Cinema Festival
    Washington, DC
    United States
    August 18, 2017
  • 40 NORTH Dance Film Festival
    San Diego
    United States
    September 25, 2017
  • Northwest Screendance Exposition
    United States
    October 13, 2017
  • San Francisco Dance Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    October 21, 2017
  • Light Moves Festival of Screendance
    November 2, 2017
  • Seyr Festival
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
    May 1, 2018
  • ScreenDance Festival
    April 23, 2019
  • San Souci Festival of Dance Cinema
    United States
    September 20, 2019
  • Rethink Dance Film Festival
    United States
    October 8, 2019
  • Movimiento en Movimiento
    Mexico City
    October 7, 2019
  • Dallas Dance Film Festival
    United States
    November 2, 2019
  • San Souci Female Filmmakers Screening
    United States
    March 13, 2020
  • EnCore: Dance on Film 2020
    United States
    May 22, 2020
Director Biography - Evann Siebens

Evann Siebens makes media with movement. She has exhibited her projects at galleries such as Eyebeam and Centre Pompidou, while her documentaries have been screened at MOMA and on PBS. A former dancer with the National Ballet of Canada and Bonn Ballet, Evann graduated in film production from New York University. She shot dancers in New York for 15 years including Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones and Baryshnikov. Now based in Vancouver, Evann co-curated a sport/dance film festival during the 2010 Olympics. She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, NIPAD, Dance Theater Workshop, UNIT/PITT and ACME/UK with Keith Doyle. Recent exhibitions include MediaArtLab/Urban Screen, Russia; ISEA2015; dc3 Art Projects; Burrard Arts Foundation, Wil Aballe Art Projects, Thru the Trap Door and Gallery 295. Evann recently performed ‘Translating the Archive’ at the Western Front, Vancouver, won the ID/Identities Istanbul Best Video Prize, and had a screening at the Lincoln Centre Film Society, New York, as part of Dance on Camera’s Experimental Shorts program. Upcoming projects include a screening on the facade of the Vancouver Art Gallery in September 2017. She is represented by Wil Aballe Art Projects in Vancouver, Canada.

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Director Statement

Mapping choreography through media. As a former dancer, I use my body, physical cues and remembered gestures to translate movement to the screen, whether it be an improvisational dance, a flying car, crumbling houses, sweating bodies at a rave or a sugar plum fairy. When I shoot film or video, I dance. The camera moves as an extension of my body, and so my cinematography technique; focus, exposure, framing, lighting, is physicalized and what I use to catch that sublime moment in time. Time, time and repetition, phasing and musical form creeps into the work, along with a morbid sensibility to decay, whether deconstructed buildings or a body crumbling with age. I question what is real and what is mediated through the camera, similar to the difference between similitude and resemblance. Is it a film? Is it a dance? Does it still count as real if it’s a film of a dance? I crack myself up when I edit, juxtaposing J.S. Bach with baccanalic ravers, or making bulldozers shimmy to Chopin. But it’s all in search of that transcendent moment, the indescribable trace of mortality and frailness, a mere bodily gesture translated through the lens.