‘Movies By Movers’: A melting pot of artistic expression


Chantal Guevara

Chloe Aliyanni – ‘Intersection’

Matthias Kramer

The Turchin Center will host the sixth annual “Movies by Movers” Film Festival Wednesday through Sunday. The festival will showcase one full-length film and more than 40 shorts about dance and movement and will be free to the public.

The festival pushes beyond traditional ideas of what the dance art form can be “from modern, ballet, and jazz to circus, parkour, skating and other sports,” according to a press release.

The festival was founded by Cara Hagan, an assistant professor of dance studies in the department of theater and dance at Appalachian State University.

“I founded the festival in 2010, and when I came to [ASU] in 2014, I brought the festival with me,” said Hagan. “‘Movies By Movers’ is a celebration of the conversation between the camera and the moving body.”

Among the films that will be shown this week is a feature length film entitled “Soar,” directed by Susan Hess Logeis.

According to the press release, “‘Soar’ [is] about the extraordinary relationship forged between two sisters… [one] a dancer, choreographer and quadruple amputee, and [the other] who was born a month before her sister contracted pneumococcal sepsis.” “Soar” will be shown on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

The thirty minute documentary “From the Heart of Brahma,” created by Carl Off, will also be shown.

In an interview between Off and a “Movies By Movers” representative, Off discusses the motivation for his film.

“The film is about the life and work of Cambodian classical dance teacher, scholar and practitioner, Prumsodun Ok,” he said.

An important element of Prumsodun Ok’s work is addressing social justice. “[He] has received both support and controversy in Cambodia, because he is a male dancer practicing a female form and because he introduces same sex love in ancient heteronormative mythologies,” Off said.

When asked what compelled him to make the film, Off said, “I try to focus my work as an artist, particularly as a musician and filmmaker, on the intersection of arts and social justice issues.”

The wide array of topics and genres of film and dance explored in the festival can be attributed to the large number of international submissions, Hagan said .

“This year’s festival saw up towards 150 submissions, from over 20 countries,” she said. “The challenge was paring the submissions down to about 40 films to fit the time slots available for the festival.”

Hagan has lofty ambitions for the festival. “My hope for the festival is to expose audience members to something they may not have seen before, to inspire dialogue around the ways art can be created and shared, and to invite our young artists to have a conversation about performance art in the digital landscape.”

On a lighter note, Hagan understands that the festival is also entertainment. “Of course… I really want people to enjoy themselves!”

Story by: Matthias Kramer, Intern A&E Reporter