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In Cucalorus, Film and Dance Are Inseparable

Tonight in Wilmington, choreography meets film. In its seventh year, Dance-A-Lorus ignites the collaborative work of dancers and filmmakers and kicks off the Cucalorus Film Festival. WHQR’s Sara Wood reports the show has built momentum since its inception, and is one of the festival’s most anticipated events.

The idea behind Dance-A-Lorus is to create an installment of film and dance together, so one cannot exist without the other. Here are the rules: the piece must involve dance, and it must involve film. Since the show’s inception in 2005, local choreographer Anne Firmender and filmmaker Dylan Patterson have collaborated, and this year they’re at it again.

“And so I think that allows us to be a lot more vulnerable with each other, and to really try to get at more of a root of what’s going on with us, or what we’re interested that’s going on in the world. Both of us are very comfortable living in an ambiguous, abstract world in the arts, neither of us feel the need to spell something out.”

Tonight they will show their work “Beautiful Lives.” Patterson contributed video he captured during his travels over the summer using an iPhone app called 8 millimeter. Firmender choreographed dancers with a theme in mind: the coexistence of beauty and ugliness in everyday life. Patterson says Dance-A-Lorus is not only unique to Wilmington, but in most of the film world.

“Most of these pieces will never be shown at a film festival again, maybe at a dance festival once or twice, and then that’s it. A lot of the films we’ll see at Cucalorus will never be shown in Wilmington again, but they’re shown 20-30 festivals around the country, or more. And all these films are made for this one showing, and that’s not what filmmakers normally do.”

Tonight’s show features 9 other works. New to this year’s Cucalorus Film Festival is a series of free dance master classes. There’s even a new block of the film festival for dance film shorts showing during the four-day film festival.