Artistic dance film selected for screening at prestigious New York festival

BY TOBY PORTER
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

An artist’s dance film has been selected for screening at a prestigious New York festival.

Contemporary choreographer Adrian Del Arroyo, from Bermondsey, will see his work showcased in Manhattan later this month as part of the Mobile Dance Film Festival.

Mr Del Arroyo’s film is one of 24 to have been chosen by an international jury of dance and film experts to be showcased on Saturday July 28.

The screening will take place at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side – New York City’s cultural hub.

The venue has been a focal point of the modern dance world for almost a century.

Major artists who have performed and taught there include Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Merce Cunningham and Alvin Ailey.

Mr Del Arroyo said: “I’m thrilled to see my work selected for the first Mobile Dance Film Festival in New York.

The Y’s dance centre in 92nd Street has been a podium for modern dance pioneers since its establishment, and it is an honour to be selected for their festival.”

The 92Y Mobile Dance Film Festival is the first dance film festival featuring works shot entirely on mobile devices.

More than 50 filmmakers from all over the world submitted their work for consideration by the jury.

The selected films will be screened over two programmes on the day.

Mr Del Arroyo’s successful entry is scheduled for the prime evening programme and consists of a scene from his forthcoming dance film, H, called The ‘Hive’ Minuet.

Performed by a 20-strong company of contemporary dancers and featuring an original score, the piece envisions a party and explores the nature of social belonging.

Mr Del Arroyo, 34, uses a formal, group social-dance form – a minuet – and the inspiration of a bee hive to convey in-group out-group tensions.

“The Hive is about the stings of exclusion, the sweetness of inclusion, and how both belonging and not belonging can equally feel, and be, a threat,” he said.

“The film shows a social dance. It’s a place where individuals meet; where they want to participate, and stand out, and belong.

Of course the irony is that in their fears of isolation and desires for acceptance – in their common anxieties – they are united.”

Mr Del Arroyo brings his classical ballet and Spanish Baroque influences to this complex study of the self, with a show which is dramatically costumed to feature his signature ‘bandages’ – which are sometimes used as an intricate movement prop in his work.

The former make-up artist and catwalk director is a contemporary choreographer originally from Spain who works in London.

He was classically trained at the Spanish National Conservatoire of Ballet and has a Performing Arts Dance degree from Birkbeck in partnership with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.

His choreography is known for syncing screen and stage, for its use of his signature bandages as a prop and for Spanish baroque and folk influences.

He draws from film, interior and fashion design, and brings together original musical scores, costumes, lighting and other visual effects.

The film has a haunting original score by Spanish film composer – and former English National Ballet pianist – Juan J. Ochoa, who said: “Bringing the Hive soundtrack to life has been an honour and a process of great discovery.

“This collaboration with Adrian Del Arroyo has moved us both forward as artists in ways that we couldn’t foresee.

It is a remarkable piece and a significant score.”

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