The Dance on Camera Festival 2023 is a film festival of dance films co-produced by the Dance Films Association and Film at Lincoln Center.
The world’s longest-running dance film festival brings dance storytelling to the big screen, and connects dancers and dance companies with audiences they might not reach otherwise.
51st Dance on Camera Festival 2023
The 51st Dance on Camera Festival 2023 is at Film at Lincoln Center from Friday-Monday, February 10-13, 2023. $17. 🇫🇷 🇮🇳 🇲🇽
This season brings 13 programs screening 30 films from 35 countries. The festival is on trend for more diversity in New York City culture. There are screenings at both the Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center across 65th St.
The opening night film is “Call Me Dancer” by Leslie Shampaine and Pip Gilmour. It is the true story of Manish, a young street dancer in Mumbai, India who though supporting his parents in the traditional manner, meets an aging Israeli ballet master who ignites the young man’s desire to become a professional dancer. It screens on Friday, February 10, 2023 at 10pm. 🇮🇳
Mumbai is known as the “City of Dreams” and Manish’s dream takes him all the way to the stages of New York City.
The closing night film, Adrian Lyne’s 1983 influential hit “Flashdance,” the story of a nightclub dancer whose passion and artistry takes her all the way to the professional dance world, screens in the Francesca Beale Theater at Film at Lincoln Center on Monday, February 13, 2023 at 8pm. $17.
Meeting filmmakers is one of the best reasons to go to a film festival. The “Conversation with Directors” in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 5pm is free and open to the public.
“Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film” is the New York City Premiere of John Jota Leaños and Vanessa Sanchez’s preview short about dance in Northern California’s migrant farmworker communities. The collection of oral histories with tap, Mexican zapateado, son jarocho, and Afro-Caribbean movement; screens in Program 7: Focus on Culture in the Francesca Beale Theater on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 1pm. $17. 🇲🇽
This story’s cover image is a still from “Ghostly Labor.”
Zapateado is a Mexican step dance similar to Spanish flamenco, Argentine malambo, American tap, and Irish step dancing. Zapateado came with the African Diaspora to Veracruz, Mexico’s Caribbean gateway city. African Kongo musicians were singing “La Bamba,” the classic Mexican wedding song, in Veracruz as early as 1683.
Colonizers feared and banned the drum, so the Africans said we’re not drumming, we’re just stomping our feet. Jarana Beat, in the South Bronx, dances zapateado in the Mexican fandango tradition. Son jarocho is the Regional Mexican music of Veracruz.
Today, the Afro-Mexican community has mostly blended in. Many, if not most Mexican families have the proverbial Black grandmother in the closet. Since the Colonial Era, being considered “Black” is such a disadvantage that most of us deny it. Even the “Mexican” founding families of Los Angeles, California were mostly Afro-Mexicans. We grew up there. A plaque in downtown LA names the original families and their heritage. This surprised us. Now we can and should be proud of all our heritage.
Mexico’s remaining Afro-Mexican community has migrated to Guerrero state on the other side of Mexico from Veracruz. The point is that the African Diaspora is all over the Americas in places most of us don’t expect to find it. “Ghostly Labor” will soon be released as a full-length film.
“Living on the Threshold” (Habiter Le Seuil), a French film by Vincent Bruno, shows the dancer’s choreographic process from dancing with humpback whales at Réunion Island, the French island in the Indian Ocean off of Madagascar. It screens in the Francesca Beale Theater at Film at Lincoln Center; on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 4pm. $17. 🇫🇷
Nature is one of the greatest inspirations for human creativity. Seeing this reminds us that we are only a small part of something much bigger ~ Mother Nature. (We are sort of Mother Earth’s gut bacteria.)
There are many more interesting dance films from around the world this season. For Dance on Camera Festival 2023 tickets and a full schedule, visit filmlinc.org