Light Moves International Screendance Festival 2015



December 1st 2015

Here I was again for another instalment of the Lightmoves festival in Limerick, Ireland. After attending the festival in 2014, I felt I had answered a lot of the questions that the festival had left me with that year. However, I was yet to realise that I was to leave this year with an abundance of freshly-voiced questions that I know I will be asking myself for a long time throughout the remainder of my practice.

Here’s some pics followed by some of my experience in the festival!


I have to say that this particular event is the most thoughtfully curated festival I have ever attended. Founders, Mary Wycherley and Jürgen Simpson not only presented a range of films that challenged and questioned the limits of dance-film making but, most importantly, they also gave many adequate intervals and breaks. This I felt was amazing because it allowed myself and other watchers to absorb and take in what we had just witness and listened to. Jo Ro Farr from Blast Theory (of whom I recently had the pleasure of attending a professional talk with – DIGITAL LAB) describes this as the frothing space. A space for viewers to discuss amongst each other and process the witnessed material. Some festivals, I’ve found, rarely allow for this time to happen, resulting in the material being lost in a crowd of a very varied selection.

Now that I think of it, another thing I noticed on second attendance at Light Moves is that films weren’t too bunched together either. With screenings rarely running past an hour in length. This joy of this is that you as a viewer aren’t bombarded with too much material in a large amount of time.


MDC’s own short screendance ‘END OF THE BLOCK’ kickstarted Screening 9 at Light Moves this year. It was an absolute pleasure to have our film screened at this festival and the feedback from new and old festival friends was well worth the opportunity.

You can still watch the film by clicking the link below:


THE SYMPOSIUM ‘Peeling Away The Layers’

Spread over two days, these talks were both inspiring and thought provoking. With speakers including Claudia Kappenberg, Marisa Zanotti, Nigel Rolfe and Siobhan Davies, these talks have always been something I look forward to in a festival. There were discussions of what screeendance can bring us as artists, understanding of where we can take it and where it can take us and I couldn’t help but feel honoured to be around such inspiring creators.

Here are some points that really stuck out for me from a small selection of the talks:

Claudia Kappenberg (Keynote Address)
  • “Screendance is perceived as another type of dance.”
  • “Screendance is a field of diverse practices that can not be defined.”
  • “Where does screendance end and non-screendance begin and where is it possible to make that distinction?”
  • “Screendance can draw on the extensive history of cinema and choreographic practice while also challenging the boundaries of its own specificity.”
  • “There is a danger in screendance that we are exhausting the screen. Not only do we have moving bodies but we have moving cameras so we can multiply and exascerbate the exhaustion. I am concerned with where screendance is going if it just celebrates movement and screen.”
From Left – Right: Robin Parmar (IRL), Dr Marisa Zanotti (UK), Dr Mary Nunan (IRL) & Mary Wycherley.

Marisa Zanotti

  • “Screendance is a space where we attempt to work out things in our lives.”
  • “We are glamoured by the techniques used for representing dances on television.”
Nigel Rolfe – (Guest Speaker)
  • “The thought really exists in the moment of its doing… The moment you’re making it is the moment of freshness.”
  • ‘Fault Lines: The idea that the world is constructed of fault and failure far more than it is constructed on success and settlement.’
  • “Why do you keep doing the same thing? What is important about those things?”
  • ‘No one is going to give you 10 seconds of their attention, unless you get their attention through having something that fuels their disbelief.’


Lucy Cash & Marisa Zanotti


I can’t explain how amazing an experience this 2 day screendance lab was. Since there isn’t enough space to truly explain the full contents of everything that occurred, I would just like to mention a few short things that really stuck with me:

Aspects of directorial decision making:

  • the art of curation
  • ‘being nice may not always be the best option’
  • QUESTION FOR THOUGHT: What’s going to raise a question thats a little difficult to answer.

‘The space as sentient’:

  • We were given an exercise in three’s where we would watch and film a short piece of developed movement material from each person in the group. Once seen, we would take a single thing to think about while filming each short solo. The three choices were:
  1. The space as sentient.
  2. Render your own response.
  3. The camera as accomplice or observer.

The space as sentient I had never heard of before, but it was explained to us that it involved filming in a way that illustrates how a space may respond to given movement.

Rendering our own response involved filming in relation to your own personal response and how that response can be represented through the eye of the lens.

Finally, the camera as accomplice or observer focused on filming in a way that creates a dynamic relationship between the camera and the mover.


Here is our short video with lab participant, Isolde Donahoe (IRL). We filmed her material in relationship to number 2 of the choices (our own response) and here is a edit of the raw footage (no sound):

INTERESTING NOTE: At first our response was to help her, so we filmed some footage where we actually imposed on her action and physically filmed ourselves helping Isolde from her ‘stuck’ state. However, a question was raise by Marisa which was: how can we allow our response of ‘wanting to help’ to form the way in which we make the audience feel our sense of ‘helplessness’. Resulting in us directing our response onto the audience, through the direction of the camera.



LIQUID GOLD IS THE AIR (UK) Choreographer: Rosemary Lee (someone who I am so honoured to have dance for many times from a child to an adult! May I add that she, alongside the amazing Roswitha Chesher, also won the Light Moves Festival Prise. Boom!)

ANNA KARENINA (UK) Choreographer: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

GAPS (Australia) Choreographer: Stephanie Lake.

LET’S DANCE (Sweden) Director/Choreographer: Sara Lindstorm

BBOY (Student Programme – Ireland) Choreographer: Arnold Kovacs

EMBRACE (Belgium) Choreographers: Shantala Pèpe & Wilkie Branson.


I had to add this category because this festival is getting known for really challenging their audiences through their curation and plus someone might like em:

THE TURIN HORSE (Hungary/France/Switzerland/USA/Germany) Directors: Béla Tarr & Ágnes Hranitzsky

‘I made it to the end… That’s all I have to say…’

DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 (US) Director: Matthew Barney

‘I didn’t make it to the end… There’s nothing more to be said…’

Thanks for reading!



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