SSF @ Museum of Boulder: Festival Premiere 2021

an evening of dance cinema installation, performance, and films screening on the museum rooftop

18th annual festival season premiere

  • September 3-5, 2021
  • installations, screening, and live performance
  • 6:45pm doors/installations, 7:30pm show
  • screening on Museum rooftop patio
  • one free drink included with ticket; snacks available for purchase

Join Sans Souci at The Museum of Boulder for a night to remember, celebrating the opening of our 18th season!

You’ll enter like a star through a VIP red carpet photo area…it is a film festival, after all! Grab a local brew or glass of wine (first beverage included in ticket!), and check out video installations looping throughout the Museum before and after the screening and during intermission for an intimate experience with select films. Take a peek at the Museum’s five open exhibits on your way to pick up your pre-purchased snack pack on the rooftop patio.

Beginning with a live performance by acclaimed Samba dancer Luciana Da Silva (Friday and Saturday only), we’ll embark on a screening of our new season’s top scoring films. As always, our selections are submitted from around the world and curated by a panel of professional dance filmmakers to bring you the most cutting edge work in the realm where dance and cinema collide. All these films are making their SSF debut, and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Museum of Boulder logo
Museum of Boulder
2205 Broadway St
Boulder, CO 80302

Accessibility: handicap parking, wheelchair seating available upon request, elevator to roof, all installations accessible.

With support from
Boulder Arts Commission logoBoulder County Arts Alliance logo
Sponsored by
Polis Consulting logothe Spark performing arts community logo


This screening runs approximately 85 minutes plus one 15-minute intermission. Audiences are encouraged to arrive early to engage with the installations; some installations will have headphones for a more up close and personal experience with the films. A strobe light is present in one film.

an Asian American woman looks through her fingers upside down

Where We’re Going

2019 / United States / 3 min

Directed by Katherine Helen Fisher
Produced by Heidi Duckler Dance, Safety Third Productions, Caroline Haydon, Raphaelle Ziemba
Creative Direction and Choreography by Heidi Duckler
Director of Photography Shimmy Boyle
Featuring Heidi Duckler Dance
Dancing by Raymond Ejiofor, Tess Hewlett, Ryan Walker Page, Himerria Wortham, Ching Ching Wong
Music composed by Joe Cunningham
Edited by Shimmy Boyle, Katherine Helen Fisher
Costumes by Debby Weiss, Mimi Haddon
Graphics by Dan Evans

Filmed on the rooftop of the historic Bendix Building in the garment district of Los Angeles where Heidi Duckler has her office space, this work is choreographed by Heidi Duckler and performed by her dancers, her staff and several workers from the building. This short work explores a common feeling in Duckler’s oeuvre – a sense of belonging and how we define family. For more information, please visit the Heidi Duckler Dance website.

an older woman hugs a young girl in the foreground, several dancers lean on one another in the background


2018 / United Kingdom / 13 min

Directed by Natasha Gilmore
Choreography by Natasha Gilmore
Music composed by Mairi Campbell, Luke Sutherland
Cinematography by George Geddes
Edited by Blair Young
Costumes by Alison Brown
Production Management by Nicola Denman

Wolf is set in the stunning natural environment of autumnal Scotland and incorporates a cast spanning three generations. At its heart is the interplay between being guided to the right path in life by older generations and the need to forge your own path and choose your own way. Not to invalidate advice or guidance given by others but to acknowledge that ultimately we must make our own choices. Using imagery from well-known fairy tales and morality folklore, Wolf explores the interaction and connection between intergenerational communities and families.

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.

four dancers in a field in black and white fling limbs wildly


2021 / France / 9 min

Directed by John Degois
Choreography by John Degois
Cinematography by John Degois

Birds is a short digital choreographic piece imagined/thought/directed by John Degois. With this piece, he tries to transpose live performance into film. He thus chooses to make a sequence shot in order to keep the notion of “live,” and slow motion to allow the spectator to have time to watch where he wants. He also breaks the perspective by not necessarily centering the main action in the middle of the image. Against a background of melancholy, Birds evokes a time when the question of freedom did not arise.

two white-paint-covered dancers, one resting his head on the other's ankle

Inside Out

2021 / United States / 3 min

Directed by Jeff Kuperman, Rick Kuperman
Choreography by Jeff Kuperman, Rick Kuperman, Jake Warren, Casey Howes
Cinematography by Ambrose Eng, Oliver Peng

A couple faces an accidental trauma on a nondescript Sunday morning, which mirror’s the world’s seemingly stable, but deeply precarious, natural balance.

two feet on tiptoes, standing on a pile of books

My Own Worst Enemy

2020 / Netherlands / 6 min

Directed by Harrie Verbeek, Jelena Kostić
Produced by Monne Tuinhout
Choreography by Jelena Kostić
Dancing by Noëmi Wagner
Cinematography by Richard Spierings
Written by Harrie Verbeek

On your way to reaching a goal you are often battling against yourself. You take various steps, but it is the most unpredictable move that defeats your own worst enemy.

a Chinese man's face is just above the water, surrounded by white rose petals

Ways of Seeing

2020 / China / 8 min

Directed by DJ Furth
Produced by Chen Minghui, Geyan
Choreography by DJ Furth
Featuring Amy Grubb, Zheng Lingmin
Music by IXYXI
Cinematography by Dustin Tung
Art Direction by Jingjing
Executive Production by Patsy Lo

watch the trailer

Ways of Seeing is a film about the transformative, healing power of nature and female wisdom as expressed through movement. We wanted to bring attention to the courage it takes to sit with the inevitable pain we experience as we seek to grow. The film seeks to focus on the ways our inner world is expressed in how we move – particularly subconscious movement. And, based on this, to investigate the healing effects of liberated movement.

15-minute intermission

two light skinned dancers in fabric print dresses press against a wall

WECreate Spaces: Limerick

2020 / United Kingdom / 3 min

Directed by Ana Baer, Heike Salzer
Produced by WECreate Productions
Choreography and Dancing by Heike Salzer, Michelle Nance
Music composed by Joaquin Lopez Chas
Filmmaker: Ana Baer
Costume Design by Robert Burton

WECreate Spaces: Limerick is a poetic visual portrait of the historic city of Limerick. Bodies and costume merge with the materials and shapes, resonating the textural and rhythmic layers of the urban landscapes. The work suggests an embodied ethnographic view of the local, drawing on the visceral ability of the artists to capture ephemeral sensibilities through their presence. This montage highlights echoes of the now along with fragments of the past, revealing the stories that are engrained in the desecrated architecture and felt through the movements of the people of the city.

a light skinned male dancer jumps out of splashing water


2020 / Switzerland / 10 min

Directed by Andrea Boll
Produced by Nico Gutmann
Choreography by Andrea Boll
Dancing by Ivan Blagajcevic, Andrea Boll, Chris de Feyter, Hella Immler, Emeric Rabot
Cinematography by Peter Kadar, Andrea Boll
Camera / Steadicam Peter Kadar, Chris Fawcett
Edited by Peter Kadar
Music and Sound Design by Alex Zampini
Sound Mix by Ramón Orza

Water – Leonardo da Vinci called it ‘the blood of the planet.’ A group of people emerges from the water. They try to resist the current of the river and the stream of people in the city, but have to surrender to the flow and are washed ashore. On the shore, the stranded seek for hold and refuge. In the course of the film ‘against or with the flow’, ‘resistance and devotion’ manifest as a primal instinct, as a survival strategy.

one dancer encourages another one covered in mud to take a swig of champagne


2019 / Finland / 7 min

Produced and Directed by Tero Peltoniemi
Choreography by Tero Hytönen
Dancing by Salla Rytövuori, Tero Hytönen, Pauliina Sjöberg, Kalle Pulkkinen
Filmmaker: Tero Peltoniemi
Production Designer by Fabian Nyberg

watch the trailer

Boy meets girl at a coffee shop, and the two are thrown into a mud wrestling ring to find a common path forward, while their best friends act as coaches.

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
Cinematography by Paul Mignot

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

a brown-skinned, Black male dancer leans to the left looking upward

This Breath Together

2021 / United States / 12 min

Directed by Michelle Bernier
Produced by Michelle Bernier, Thomas Wingerd
Dancing by Danielle Garrison, Keith Haynes, Sarah Harrison, Bridget Heddens, Vivian Kim Gina Medina, Emma Michaux, Alex Milewski, Peg Posnick, Jessica Riggs, Gwen Ritchie, Marla Shultz, Luciana da Silva, Alfred Smith, Briana Smith, Nancy Smith, Miah Yager
Music composed by Kristen Demaree, Sean Connolly, Dudu Fuentes
Edited by Michelle Bernier
Director of Photography by Jesse Rarick
Poetry by Brooke McNamara

watch the trailer

Sans Souci’s Community Dance Film Project was created to engage Boulder artists of many genres and to inspire our local community with all we have to offer. Each dancer was paired with one of the city of Boulder’s most iconic outdoor sites and asked to create movement responding to that location along a theme: “The first fresh breath in a long time.” Emerging from their spring 2020 quarantines, dancers reconnected with their own dance-deprived bodies, and brought their unique presence to each space, activating it with movement. The film encompasses ballet, tap, contemporary, house, waacking, aerial dance, samba, and poetry; collaborators include BIPOC and LGBTQ performers, those with disabilities, and dancers on the older end of the age spectrum.

a silhouette of a woman tap dancing on a bench; part of the Sans Souci logo


a woman in a blue dress lays on her side, reaching and looking toward the camera


2021 / United States / 12 min

Created by Malia Bruker and Ilana Goldman
Choreography by Ilana Goldman
Dancing by Annali Clevinger, Ilana Goldman, Kehinde Ishangi, Linxin “Kisa” Li
Cinematography and Editing by Malia Bruker
Dramaturgy by Hannah Schwadron
Music composed by Patrick McKinney
Sound Design by Deirdre Morrison
Musicians Patrick McKinney, Brooke Van Natta, Michelle Medrano, Miles Bozeman, Jordi Lara, Erika Chinander

Basement: Virtual Reality Headset Stations (4)

Threshold is a 360-degree dance film that opens a portal into the transformational journey of four women. Starting as isolated individuals grappling with the effects of trauma, the dancers create a ritual space to move in solidarity together with resilience and strength. Made by Sans Souci alumni Malia Bruker and Ilana Goldman, Threshold is watched in a VR headset and offers a cathartic, immersive experience that celebrates women’s empowerment. Sans Souci is the film festival premiere for Threshold.

brightly colored images of dancers in a grid of squares, as if on a Zoom call

The Protocol

2020 / United Kingdom / 13 min

Directed by Avatâra Ayuso
Choreography by Avatâra Ayuso
Dancing by Jordan Ajadi, Chloe Hillyar, Georgia Thompson
Music composed by Nick Rothwell
Cinematography by Gary Tanner
Written by Avatâra Ayuso
Dramaturgy by Ignacio Vleming

watch the trailer

2nd Floor: Boulder Room Theater

Part of a triptych of works based on the same concept, The Protocol is filmed using a colourful, eccentric and retro-vintage cinematic language where the performers in confidence to the viewer, express their thoughts, exposing their contradictions, fears and worries about our relationship with the other. This digital take on The Protocol was inspired by our society’s virtual encounters that have become so indispensable and frequent in our current working realities.

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

2nd Floor: Boulder Room Theater

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.

seven dancers are encircled by fabric sculptures on a parking garage roof

This Holding (Scene 4: High Noon)

2020 / United States / 7 min

Produced and Directed by Jana Harper
Choreography by Rebecca Steinberg
Music composed by Moksha Sommer and HuDost
Cinematography by Sam Boyette

watch the trailer

2nd Floor: Boulder Room Theater

A performance art film featuring professional dancers, soft sculpture and an original score. Filmed and produced in the early months of the pandemic, This Holding addresses the burdens, anxieties, and hopes of these unprecedented times.

an aerial dancer twisted up in fabric is covered in gold paint

Midas is King

2021 / United States / 8 min

Directed by Rachel Strickland
Choreography and Dancing by Rachel Strickland
Music composed by Max Cooper
Cinematography by Keith Bradshaw, On It Video
Edited by Tyler Parks, Big Pants Productions
Photography by Max Cooper Photography

watch the trailer

2nd Floor: Boulder Room Theater

Midas is King is a short aerial dance film about the relentless consumption of beauty as currency within the confines of a system. Especially true for people who are raised as girls, the most valuable capital we have is perceived to be our youth, beauty, and sexual viability. This axiom is embedded in the fiber of our culture and our bodies, which are consumed and exploited as a resource from an early age. In such a value system, the merit of ourselves is seen to decline steadily as soon as we reach the apex of young adulthood. Brief moments of ascension are possible, tastes of autonomy marked by their brevity and ultimate dissolution. The act of survival itself consumes as fast as it creates, leaving behind a debt unpaid.

two piles of dancers lying on top of one another on the beach

Under the Skin

2020 / Lithuania / 24 min

Directed by Trécy Afonso, Mathilde Monfreux
Produced by Goda Giedraitytė
Choreography by Mathilde Monfreux
Music composed by Raphaële Dupire
Edited by Trécy Afonso
Camera Operation by Trécy Afonso

watch the trailer

2nd Floor: Google Garage

Rhythm, pulsation, cocoons of light, architecture of body and nature – this is how the unique Lithuanian region, the Curonian Spit, and the fragility of its life are revealed in this film featuring dancers of Šeiko Dance Company. Here the synthesis of the dancing body and natural form turns their hidden connections into visible architectural shapes, as if lifting the veil of Maya to reveal fragile interdependence between man and the world where each element undoubtedly affects the whole system. The subtle and organic approach of the French creators immerses the viewer in the poetic flow of nature and dance.

a white man in a tux with a sculpture of dead flowers tied to his back

Song of Songs

2021 / United States / 20 min

Directed by Douglas Rosenberg
Choreography and Dancing by Douglas Rosenberg
Cinematography by Michael Eckblad

2nd Floor: The Lodge

Song of Songs is a deeply personal evocation of the erotic prose poem of the same name appears in the Old Testament. Shot in black and white with an original cello score, it evokes a cinematic space that is contemplative and austere.