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Marriage of dance and media engrained to film at Wex

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Two frames from film 'Well Contested Site' by Amie Dowling (choreographer) and Austin Forbord (filmmaker). Credit: Courtesy of Amie Dowling

Two frames from film ‘Well Contested Site’ by Amie Dowling (choreographer) and Austin Forbord (filmmaker).
Credit: Courtesy of Amie Dowling

“My ultimate hope would be that at the end of the show, the audience runs out screaming to Mirror Lake and jumps in, but does not set any couches on fire while doing it.”

That’s what Mitchell Rose, an Ohio State assistant professor of dance, said about program he organized “Dance@30FPS.”

“Dance@30FPS,” or Dance at 30 Frames Per Second, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Film/Video Theater. It’s a program split into two parts, Erik Pepple, spokesman for the Wexner Center, said. The first is a collection of international short films, and the second is the Columbus debut of the documentary “UPAJ: Improvise,” which details the collaboration of a classical Indian dancer and an American tap dancer.

Pepple said “Dance@30FPS” is part of an ongoing film series that seeks to bring in exclusive documentaries to Columbus and OSU audiences.

Rose decided this year, his fourth helming the annual program, to focus on the marriage of dance and filmmaking.

“I think it’s about not having to conform to space and time as normal dance does when it’s on stage,” he said.

Rose said one of his goals with the program was to explore the perimeters of what dance film is considered to be, which is why “Birds” by British filmmaker David Hinton is one of the eight short films included in “Dance@30FPS.”

Rose said the film contains footage of birds, mating dances and different behaviors edited together to create the same flowing dynamic that dance has.

“So when you watch (‘Birds’), you are watching a dance, but all you are seeing is very intelligently edited-together bird footage,” he said.

“Well Contested Sites,” a short film in the program created by OSU alumna Amie Dowling, focuses on what she considers to be the most pressing civil-rights issue of our time: mass incarceration..

“The title comes from the idea that a prisoner’s body is a contested site,” Dowling said, noting its vulnerability as a quality intensely realized in prison. “These prisons emphasize segregation, solitude and physical containment of the body.

“I wanted to draw upon formally incarcerated individuals’ experiences and their physical memories to create a dance film that connected audiences to the performers and the impacts of incarceration,” she said.

Rose said the reason he developed “Dance@30FPS” is because he thinks the future of dance is intermingled with media.

“It can be as simple as shooting your performance with an iPhone and uploading it to the web,” he said.

Admission to “Dance@30FPS” is free.

Well Contested Sites from Rapt Productions on Vimeo.

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