Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival (D2D) is run by three talented women who, as they say on their website regarding the pandemic: “we refuse to be stopped . . . if anything, perhaps our creativity should be amplified”. The Founder and Artistic Director of D2D is choreographer, filmmaker, entrepreneur and educator Sarah Elgart, who is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Sarah Elgart/Arrogant Elbow. New York and Los Angeles based Zoe Rappaport is a movement director, choreographer and the Creative Producer for D2D. The Social Media Assistant for D2D is Los Angeles based dancer, choreographer and movement director Annalise Gehling who also has a background in acting and vocal training.

In 2019, the screening of D2D took place at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (REDCAT). This year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they announce the launching of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival: Round 4, “a live & online dance film festival dedicated to democratizing dance, doing it in public, & sharing it on film.” The announcement of D2D’s public and digital screening for Round 4 films will be coming soon!

From an award winning film from D2D Round 3 called “Burden” by Lawrence Fung Photo 5 MeVo_Frame_2 VoQ_Duet_Frame_1 From Tadhi Alawi’s Six Foot Distance Dance Film Festival Screen shot from Tadhi Alawi’s Stay At Home - D2D Six Foot Distance Dance Film Festival
Screen shot from an award winning film from D2D Round 3 called “Burden” by Lawrence Fung - Courtesy of D2D

In addition to the D2D team, the panel of expert judges for the festival, aptly named PANDEMANIA!, include Peter Chu, (Founder/Director: chuthis, Choreographer, and Performer with: Kidd Pivot, Aszure Barton & Artists, Cirque du Soleil), Moncelle ill kozby Durden (Assistant Professor of Practice USC Kaufman School of Dance, Dancer, Historian, Ethnographer, Author, Documentarian), Kristy Edmunds, (Executive & Artistic Director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance – CAP UCLA, Artist, Curator, Frequent keynote Speaker), Rosalynde Leblanc Loo (Chair of Dance Program Loyola Marymount University – LMU, and Choreographer, Dancer Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane).

The D2D press release states that although PANDEMANIA is currently an unofficial term, but that it will most likely make its way into Webster’s Dictionary very soon. They define PANDEMANIA as:

PANDEMANIA: pan.da.may.ni.uh (noun), a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level due to isolation, frustration, anger, and various strong emotions brought about as a direct result of the Coronavirus, as well as issues/world events e.g. systemic racism, immigration, the environment, LGBTQX & women’s rights, and other pandemics in our collective history. Pandemania frequently ensues in a heightened need for self-expression through movement.

D2D strongly urges participants to stay safe while filming and to adhere to social distancing rules applicable in their areas. To read the rules and regulations for submissions and to learn more about the D2D team, please click HERE or on FILMFREEWAY.

This past year D2D also introduced SIX FOOT DISTANCE DANCES – an ongoing call for one-minute films. You may view these imaginative short films on Instagram by clicking HERE.

Tadhi’s “Stay At Home” SIX FOOT DISTANCE DANCE was featured in the BBC news special highlighting artists and entertainers moving performances online.

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Screen shot from Eiko Otake’s “A Body on Wall Street” a D2D Round 3 Award winning film – Photo courtesy of D2D