As we completed the first WildDogs International Screendance Festival in September 2020, a long dreamed about event for Wojtek and I, we wanted to create a series of smaller events that would help showcase the wonderful screendance works available from many countries, from some amazing artists. In planning our 2nd event, I spoke to my colleague Melanie Kloetzel about the film that she had created with Linnea Swan, MEN in Charge, that related to the US election and other issues that made its screening prior to the US election critical. I thought about the profound impact that some of the films we screened at the WildDogs International Screendance Festival had on me, personally, and wanted to consider how screendance can have a voice that speaks out on social issues. There is something so clear and clean about the body in motion; it speaks volumes without words. (A hint about our next screening event). I had seen other works of Vito Alfarano, an Italian artist, many of which also dealt with topics of social justice, and asked him if I might share I Have a Dream again, and another one of his works in this program. I emailed Kosta and asked if I could share his film, Waiting for Color, in this event, and he agreed. This was how Howls and Cries was born. Once the direction had been established, I spoke to our manager, Calvin Becker, about the voices we wanted to share on the eve of this election and he came back to me with his research; did I know that wolves, when ‘voting’ use a series of howls and calls to communicate? Thus, the title. Each film has a specific voice, and speaks out with passion, as I hope you will see, and the camera treats the body based on the director’s vision. It is an amazing medium, this marriage of dance and the camera, and I am hooked! I hope you will be, too, and will join us for other events this winter and spring!
Wow! What a hectic and completely rewarding past few months it has been for WildDogs. A big thank you goes to our devoted participants, patrons, and festival team for making the inaugural event a success. We put “International” in WildDogs International Screendance Festivalin hopes of bringing together a tight knit global community of screendance artists. After receiving submissions from over 20 different countries, we are happy to say that our expectations were exceeded tenfold. We had the opportunity to host a multitude of stories and cultures from around the world, all sharing the common passion of screendance. It was an eye-opening experience to see a global community of artists come together during unprecedented times to share their stories. If we look closely, art unites, inspires, and most importantly, grounds us during times of uncertainty. As the whole world moves forward into a new normal, we as artists must unite, inspire, and demonstrate the power of art to heal. We must especially support performing arts in schools and universities because the fragility of these programs continues to be tested. At WildDogs, it is our goal to attract a global community of artists who engage and inspire each other to work towards a sustainable future.
WildDogs proudly operates with international bases around the world, making our screendance festival unique, exclusive, and ever-evolving! With successful pop-up screenings in Calgary, AB and Saskatoon, SK, we are eagerly anticipating our Hawaii and Poland premieres this fall. WildDogs participants have the opportunity for their films to be screened in multiple places around the world, which promotes rich dialogue and feedback for the artists. Our pop-up screenings also allow cities with emerging screendance interests to grow their communities and conversations about the art form. Our next screening of WildDogs will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, where the screendance community is still emerging. It will be held at a wonderful gallery, The ARTS at Marks Garage, on October 24th at 6pm. (www.artsatmarks.com) It’s the goal of our festival not only to spark interest in the art form, but also to grow communities of screendance patrons in cities where the conversation is still fresh.
ZOE ABRIGO, ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE, WILDDOGS Artist in Residence, W&M