Now through November 13, 2020 the USC/Kaufman School of Dance is presenting A/Part To/Gather Online Dance Festival 2020, featuring new and original dance films created by USC Kaufman BFA students and alumni, USC Kaufman faculty, as well as Advanced Composition and Dance & New Media students, plus, enjoy new works by Artist in Residence Hope Boykin, faculty member Moncell Durden, guest artist Francesca Harper and faculty member Saleemah E. Knight.  A/Part To/Gather is aptly timed as dance artists around the globe are turning to video and film to re-imagine older works and to create new ones designed specifically for the camera.

Philanthropist Glorya Kaufman has long been a follower and supporter of Dance in Los Angeles, and it is with her support and backing that the USC/Kaufman School of Dance was founded in 2015. With an amazing list of faculty members that include Aszure Barton, Tiffany Bong, Hope Boykin, Patrick Corbin, Bret Easterling, William Forsythe, d. Sabela grimes, Bonnie Oda Homsey, Anindo Marshall, Barak Marshall, Victor Quijada, Dawn Stoppiello, and Jodie Gates, to name just a few, it is no wonder that the school has rapidly become one of strongest dance departments in southern California. The school’s inaugural graduation was held on Friday, May 10, 2019, just a little over one year ago with Mikhail Baryshnikov as the commencement speaker.

On the program is the beautiful film co-directed by dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, producer, curator, and faculty member Bonnie Oda Homsey titled The Visit. Made in 2003, The Visit was created to honor Homsey’s very dear friend Paul who was one of many to die from diseases related to HIV or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  The Visit was commissioned by Los Angeles Dance Foundation from choreographer Mark Dendy with music by the American composer Philip Glass. Performed beautifully by Homsey and Laurance Blake, a former member of the Robert Joffrey Ballet and CalArts School of Dance faculty, the film incorporates segments from Dendy’s original duet.  Homsey’s film The Visit has never been screened until now.

"The Visit" - Dancers Laurence Blake and Bonnie Oda Homsey - Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

“The Visit” – Dancers Laurence Blake and Bonnie Oda Homsey – Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Other faculty films streaming on the  A/Part To/Gather Dance Festival include A Trio (2019) by Amy O’Neal; Entanglement in C Minor (2020) and In the Mold of a White Prince by Bruce McCormick; and several films by Dawn Stoppiello – two of which she collaborated on with faculty member d. Sabela grimes.

Here is the A/Part To/Gather Dance Festival schedule:

November 1 | Kaufman Takes The Stage
November 2 | Video Stage: Student/Alumni/Faculty Dance Films
November 4 | Senior Spotlights (invite-only)
November 5 | New Works
November 6 | New Works with pre-show talk
November 8 | Kaufman Takes The Stage
November 9 | Elective Experience
November 10 | Video Stage: Advanced Composition and Dance & New Media Projects
November 11 | Senior Spotlights (invite-only)
November 12 | New Works
November 13 | New Works with pre-show talk*

To view the digital program, click HERE.

The remainder of the A/Part To/Gather: Video Stage films were created by former and current Dance Majors or Minors at the Kaufman School of Dance.. I have observed only a  few of these student films so far, but some of the eye-catching titles include &, 505 Mind St, A human in Space, Black Parade, Down 268 Points, nah-this-us, Swept, that was what that was, and Together in Separation.

A/Part To/Gather: Video Stage will only be accessible through November 13, 2020 at 11:59pm, so follow this link and begin watching dance on camera now., so follow this link and begin watching dance on camera now.

To visit the USC/Kaufman School of Dance website, click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: A/Part To/Gather – Photo courtesy of USC/Kaufman School of Dance