Professor brings ‘Dance on Camera Festival’ to GVSU

Courtesy Photo / Shawn Bible

Courtesy Photo / Shawn Bible

Danielle Slabbekoorn

Professor Shawn Bible will bring the Dance Films Association from New York to Grand Valley State University Thursday for the free “Dance on Camera Festival,” which will show at the Dance Studio Theatre in the Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. The festival will feature independent dance films from around the world.

Lanthorn: How did this annual event begin?

Bible: Prior to my appointment with GVSU, “Dancing on Camera” was part of what I did. It was a part of my background that I wanted to bring with me. As long as I am here, GVSU will have it here.

Lanthorn: Can you explain to me what this event is?

Bible: (Dance on Camera) is a genre in itself. There is a genre of dance and a genre of film. They have actually been working together throughout history forever. This is using our resources to historically capture these dances and categorize them to show them in the festival. With dance, the only way to preserve it is to tape it.

Lanthorn: How is this year’s different than last year’s?

Bible: The difference is that every year I work to get something different. I am with the Dance Films Association, which is the headliner that all these films from around the world are sent to and juried and are featured in the festival … Every year I see the films that have been selected for the year and I pick the ones that I want to feature at GVSU. It is the closest thing to seeing the films straight from New York without having to go to New York.

Lanthorn: What types of dance and choreography will be shown?

Bible: This year, I am featuring films from all around the world and none will be from the U.S., whereas last year there were some … This year, the community is being more acclimated to the culture, and so I wanted to show more from other countries. There will be films from South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, England and Japan; all from 2005 to the current year.

As it happens every year, I teach a class called “Dance on Camera” in which the students vote for one student film that will open the Dance on Camera Festival. This is the most exciting part for me to be able to see my students’ work alongside those from the festival.

Lanthorn: How is this useful and beneficial for non-dance students and the community?

Bible: It doesn’t matter who you are, we like to sit down and watch stuff. We are such a multimedia culture. The most beneficial thing is to sit in front of the festival and get afterwards from people, “Why haven’t we seen these before?” They are not mainstream films; they are very independent films only shown through this avenue.

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