While many businesses have been forced to turn on a dime during the COVID era, dance companies have been 'pivoting' for decades.
Whether it's reinventing ways to engage new, and sometimes reluctant audiences, or animate unconventional spaces like motels or concrete parkades, Edmonton's Mile Zero Dance has long been a source of some of the city's most innovative and experimental programming — and it was ahead of the curve when it came to showing dance on film, too.
This year's REELING: Dance on Screen is Mile Zero's fifth biennial presentation of short dance films from all over the world, streaming online May 13-29. Artistic director Gerry Morita recalls how the landscape has changed in the past decade since the series began.
"The medium itself is really evolving as a potent form of film," Morita says. "Now we're seeing this on TikTok, and how people are using Instagram, all these companies are using live feed all year. This way to take the human body and this live experience into a filmed presentation format is finally coming of age."
She notes that the tools to make films have become more accessible, allowing performers from every corner of the globe to record and disseminate their work.
For this year's REELING, the jury sifted through more than 1,000 film submissions, with 34 films making the final cut to include in the series.
"It's more democratic and less elite than it was before," Morita says. "You have a million-dollar budget on some of these films, but then the next one is $1,000 and it's just as amazing."