the moon rises in four parts

The moon rises in four parts is a site-specific short film taking place over four days in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. Documenting a dialogue between a body and its environment, we trace the daily progression of the low tide and it’s incremental shifts at Five Islands Provincial Park.

  • Michaela Gerussi and Tracy Valcarcel
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 21, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Groupe Intervention Video (GIV)
    Country: Canada
Director Biography - Michaela Gerussi and Tracy Valcarcel

Michaela Gerussi is a dance artist based between Toronto and London. Working with both live performance and video, she is fascinated by a highly sensitized perception of the body and our capacity to extend that into space. She studied choreography, video and performance at Concordia University in Montreal, where she received her BFA in contemporary dance in 2014. Her creative work is nourished by her ongoing studies in somatic practices and Craniosacral Biodynamics. Her collaborative performances, intermedia and site-specific works have been presented in Montreal (QC), Toronto (ON), Sherbrooke (QC), Buffalo (NY) and Berlin (DE). A member of the Director’s Guild of Canada since 2016, Michaela’s recent projects address the continuous process of reconciling the image of the body with the complex, tactile experience of embodiment.


Tracy Valcarcel is a Peruvian movement-based video artist based in Montreal. Trained in contemporary dance, graphic design and physical theatre, she moved to Canada to study Interdisciplinary Performance and received a BFA in Intermedia / Cyberarts from Concordia University in 2012. In her practice, she uses on-screen moving image to consider the body from an anatomical and cultural standpoint, measuring to what extent our identities are formed by memory and habit. She is interested in the meeting point between movement and technology; exploring the sensorial capacities of video and digitizing the body and its physiological signals. Her work and collaborations have been shown locally as well as internationally at video and performance festivals including REThink Art Digital Festival (Crete, Greece), Movement Research at Judson Church (NYC, US), Summerworks Festival 25 (Toronto, Canada), Szczecin European Film Festival (Szczecin, Poland), ikono On Air Festival (Berlin, Germany), ((.mov)) Videoarte en mOvimiento (Madrid, Spain) and Performance Voyage 3 (Tromsø, Norway).

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Director Statement

The moon rises in four parts documents a durational, site specific performance structured around the cyclical natural phenomenon of the tidal rhythms in the Bay of Fundy. In accordance with the local tide times, we developed a repetitive practice of returning to the same geographical spot four times over a series of days. This project is part of a larger interdisciplinary research dealing with the process of familiarization with an unfamiliar space as expressed in the body. Known for some of the highest tides in the world, the location of the Bay of Fundy is an important component in this piece. Both Michaela and Tracy’s work is directly informed by the subtle dynamics found both in the body and in natural environments. Our interest is in the use of video to heighten the expression of those dynamics and the way they interact.

The spot we chose was the basin of the Bay of Fundy at Five Islands provincial park, requiring that we catch the tide at its lowest point in order to stand on the ocean floor. For the following three days we returned to the site a few hours later, echoing the natural daily shift of the low tide. With Tracy behind the camera and Michaela in front, we respond to the space in movement, building an ongoing dialogue with each other and our surrounding environment.
As the mover Michaela retraced an improvised choreographic score, drawing from her somatic impressions and accumulating specificity through repetition and memory. Through this practice, together they established a relationship with the space itself, inherent in the dance, the camera gaze and its accumulative expression.