SSF @ Arvada Center: The World is Our Stage 2021

an evening of dance films, documentaries, and music videos

The world is our stage

  • December 4, 2021
  • 7pm doors, 7:30pm show
  • limited seating – pre-order recommended

If you’re new to dance film, this is the screening for you! In our first collaboration with Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, we’re highlighting selections from our 18th annual festival season. Featuring documentaries, music videos, and short dance films, this lineup hails from the U.S., Brazil, India, Ireland, France, Netherlands, and the U.K., and has a little something for everyone.

The program will include some styles you know and love — tap, ballet, and contemporary dance — and some styles you may not be as familiar with — Nangiarkoothu, traditional Irish dance, and so much more. With viewers who have never experienced a dance cinema screening in mind, we’ve curated this particular program with as much variety as possible, illustrating the diversity, depth, and artistry of the films in the genre.

Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities logo
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
6901 Wadsworth Blvd
Arvada, CO 80003

Accessibility: handicap parking, theatre on the first floor with ramps to building, wheelchair seating available upon request.
Must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid-19 test to attend.

program of films

This screening runs approximately 75 minutes plus one 10-minute intermission. A strobe light is present in one film.

two pairs of light skinned hands cupping a ball of light

The Gift

2021 / France / 5 min

Directed by Paul Mignot
Produced by Jeanne Gay
Choreography by Lisa Deckert
Dancing by Lisa Deckert, Laura Arned, Lorenzo Finocchi

The Gift is a dance performance to express the beauty inside all of us.

a dancer balances precariously on her shoulder, with her feet toward the sky


2020 / Netherlands / 6 min

Directed by Moniek Van der Kallen
Produced by Lazlo Tonk, Dylan Tonk
Choreography by Moniek van der Kallen, Alicia Verdú Macián
Dancing by Alicia Verdú Macián
Cinematography by Erwan Van Buuren
Edited by Danjel Van den Hoogen

watch the trailer

Exhale starts in shock, when a traumatic event makes you aware of your vulnerability. Your reality has been affected. Can you trust your senses? Exhale evokes reflection, letting go of your anger and overcoming the feeling of powerlessness. And ultimately regaining confidence in your own instincts and body.

five dark skinned dancers stand in the sand at the beach with eyes closed

Like Water

2020 / United Kingdom / 9 min

Directed by Mthuthuzeli November
Produced by Richard Bolton
Choreography by Mthuthuzeli November
Dancing by José Alves, Isabela Coracy, Alexander Fadayiro, Marie Astrid Mence, Ebony Thomas
Music composed by Georgina Lloyd-Owen
Cinematography by Nauris Buksevics
Artistic Direction by Cassa Pancho MBE
Written by Asisipho Malunga

watch the trailer

Like Water acknowledges the resilience of our ancestors, passed down from generation to generation. A world unkind to our people, yet somehow we survive. A world that that has conditioned us to not see the beauty of our skin, hair, culture and our people. But like water we flow, like water we change shape. We remain resilient.

a light skinned dancer with blonde hair stares at the camera with arm and leg outstretched

Attention Span

2020 / United States / 3 min

Produced and Directed by Mitchell Rose
Choreography and Dancing by Emily Arden Jones

A dancer is shot from 16 camera angles and edited at a disturbing rate. And then suddenly, nothing happens. Intrigued? Watch on.

twin dancers in tap boots and jeans sit side by side, with another man's face projected behind

Bad Hombre

2020 / United States / 3 min

Produced and Directed by Martin Lombard, Facundo Lombard
Choreography and Dancing by Martin Lombard, Facundo Lombard
Featuring Lombard Twins
Music by Antonio Sanchez
Cinematography by Andy Cao
Camera Operation by Andy Cao, Anai Garcia Medina

Artists / performers Martin and Facundo Lombard and five-time Grammy-winning drummer / composer Antonio Sánchez, tell, through the language of music and dance, the story of a man who struggles to make his voice heard and what this can cause.

an Indian dancer emotes dramatically, reaching an arm toward the camera

The Nangiarkoothu Artist

2020 / India/United States / 12 min

Produced and Directed by Deepa Nair
Featuring Dr Aparna Nangiar

The Nangiarkoothu Artist is a portrait dance film that uses a multi-narrative approach of traditional storytelling and a staged dance performance to create a poetic profile of a young Nangiarkoothu artist, who practices and teaches a 2000 year old Sanskrit dance/theatre art form in Kerala, India. The audience is invited to become part of the dancer’s world and leave with a new awareness of an art form so ancient and yet little known to the larger world.

10-minute intermission

a cutout photograph of a boy dancing, superimposed on a dumpster in front of a mountain city landscape


2021 / Brazil / 1 min

Directed by Paulo Accioly
Produced by Estranha Força
Choreography by Ernane Ferreira
Dancing by Kauã

Kauã dances in the hill, like a bird of prey.

two women sit at a table; one uses her fingers to mimic a dancer's legs

I Modh Rúin

2017 / Ireland / 11 min

Directed by Ríonach Ní Néill
Produced by Ciotóg
Choreography by Ríonach Ní Néill
Dancing by Sibéal Davitt, Ciara Nic Einrí, Máire Nic Fhinn, Emma Fitzgerald, Máire Uí Fhlatharta, Úna Ní Fhlatharta, Proinsias Uí Ógartaigh, Emma Verling
Cinematography by Luca Trufarelli

What would compel you to go against the status quo and bring up your family as Irish speakers in English-speaking Ireland of the 1950s to 1980s? In I Modh Rúin (in secret), Ríonach Ní Néill blends film, dance, interviews and music to tell the story of five women who did just that.

several dancers reach their arms upward, filling a grocery store aisle

Swarm Raid

2019 / United States / 4 min

Directed by Anna Lindemann, Ryan Glista
Choreography by Felice Lesser, Ryan Glista, Anna Lindemann
Dancing by Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Anna Lindemann, Elizabeth Barbeau, Felicia Famularo, Maddie Gidman, Lenore Grunko, Allie Leonard, Rachel Surridge, Stephan Vazquez, Paige Woods
Music composed by Anna Lindemann
Music performed by Lucy Fitz Gibbon
Cinematography by Alex Rouleau
Edited by Ryan Glista
Lyrics by Emma Komlos-Hrobsky
Camera by Alex Rouleau, Charlie Gorski, Evan Olson

The music and dance video Swarm Raid is a surreal trip to the grocery store inspired by an army ant swarm raid.

two dancers falling backward into a pool as waves ripple


2021 / United States / 4 min

Produced and Directed by Mike Esperanza
Choreography by Mike Esperanza
Featuring BARE Dance Company
Dancing by Mike Esperanza, Leann Alduenda
Music composed by Mike Esperanza

Flood is a depiction of time and its build in spacial dynamics. Showing moments of interaction that dwell in surreal forms of suspension.

two dancers on a pole reach high and wide, set against a mountain backdrop

Axis Mundi

2020 / France / 2 min

Directed by Patrick Foch
Choreography and Dancing by Céline Garbay, Loriana Lorenzon
Cinematography by Benjamin Ziegler

The “axis mundi” is a connection between heaven and earth, between the divine and the material. With this gravity-defying choreography, imagined and performed at the top of a mountain and on the verticality of a pole dance bar, I wanted to deliver my own vision of this “axis mundi.” Two bodies merge and evolve precisely between earth and sky, in a quest for physical and spiritual elevation along this invisible thread.

an Asian American man in mid air in a balletic jump

The Air Before Me

2021 / United States / 5 min

Directed by Shaun Clarke
Produced by Shaun Clarke, John Lam, Helen Pickett
Choreography by Helen Pickett
Dancing by John Lam
Music composed by Peter Salem
Edited by Shaun Clarke
Director of Photography by Daniel Jacobs

The Air Before Me is a short dance film that connects ethereal space and light with human agency in a continual affirmation of the present’s power.

a young dancer stands in water, cupping some as it falls from her hand


2020 / United States / 7 min

Directed by Angela Rosales Challis
Produced by Chelsea Alley, Heather Francis
Dancing by Joseph Run Through, Delfine Uwimbabazi, Jyothsna Sainath, Jamaika, Sebastian Forbes, Akiko Kaneshiro, Joshua Perkins, Presley Fewkes, Sheyenne Utai
Written by Angela Rosales Challis, Conor Long

An abstracted film to contribute to the fight against racism. As an immigrant, I have experienced it first hand. This film showcases the beauty and richness of humanity. Nine cultures unite to make art. The dancers will tell you what brings humanity together. We must come together. This project was funded by the Utah Film Commission, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and BYU Arts Partnership.

That’s all, folks! We hope you enjoyed the screening. If you have a moment, please take our audience survey to tell us which films were your favorites.