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First Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema kicks off

By Deborah Martin
DLMARTIN@EXPRESS-NEWS.NET
January 20, 2011

Two years ago, Susana Morrow kicked off anAtticRep Forum Theater Project work about immigration with “Mujeres de Juarez,” a haunting movement-based performance piece with video created by Ana Carillo Baer.

The two artists have collaborated on another work, “Palimpsest,” which they’ll present as part of the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, hosted by AtticRep this weekend.

The piece is about a woman (Morrow) striving for perfection and coping with a dismissive voice in her head. Baer created the video for the piece.

Morrow, who teaches at Trinity University, brought the idea of presenting Sans Souci here to AtticRep. It’s a spinoff of a similar festival that began in 2003 in Boulder, Colo.; Baer serves as artistic co-director. Morrow attended it when she lived there and was enthralled by what she saw.

“It was very exciting,” she said.

AtticRep‘s first Sans Souci festival takes place today through Sunday at the Attic Theatre at Trinity University. It features short films from around the world, as well as some local work. Audiences will be able to vote for their favorites Friday and Saturday; the winners will be screened Sunday afternoon, followed by a talk-back with Morrow and Baer.

“All of the artists are impressive, and all of the artists have a different way of approaching dance,” Morrow said, adding that, in each work, the film elements are “just as important as the movement of the bodies.”

Besides “Palimpsest,” the films to be screened include “Veterans,” in which Iraq war veterans deal with post-traumatic stress; and “Let’s Dance,” which charts a relationship.

The name of the festival is French for “without worries”; it is also the name of the trailer park where the festival was first held. In the beginning, the films were screened on the side of a trailer, Morrow said, and the offerings were by area artists.

Sans Souci has grown considerably since then, drawing entries from around the world and moving indoors. Films are now shown at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and the series is also supported by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Other versions of Sans Souci have popped up. Morrow and Baer presented “Palimpsest” at the Santa Monica fest last year; they also did it in Boulder.

One of the ideas behind the festival is to explore the intersection of live performance and film, Morrow said.

The festival, she said, “is a good opportunity for people to expand how they see live performance.”

The integration of film and live performance is popping up increasingly in theater and dance performances around the world, said AtticRep producing artistic director Roberto Prestigiacomo. It’s something AtticRep has explored in many of its productions, and the film festival gives local audiences a different way to experience it.

“You don’t have to go to Austin, Colorado or New York to see it; it’s here,” he said.

Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema
When: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Attic Theatre, Trinity University
Tickets: $5-$10. 210-999-8524; atticrep.org.

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