Dance majors of SRU cast in a new film

Published by adviser, Author: Amber Cannon - Assistant News Editor, Date: September 11, 2014
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Eleven SRU dancers were offered the opportunity to star in a dance film directed by Marta Renzi.

 Director and international filmmaker, Marta Renzi has been working side by side with SRU Dance professor, Dr. Jennifer Keller and some of SRU’s dancers  to make this film idea become a reality. 

“The idea for this film came about when Jennifer asked if I would be her mentor. I thought the best way to do that would be to work on a project together, so here I am,” Renzi said.  “I knew I would be working with a large cast of women. I also knew that we would have to create something quickly and shoot the film in the costumes.”

Although Renzi is an international filmmaker, she admitted that she wanted to challenge herself with this film. For her own growth, she wanted to show more choreographic material within the film rather than the film just being a narrative.

“For this film, I decided that I didn’t want to emphasize a narrative so much. I’m trying to put the dance back in dance film,” Renzi said. “My challenge to myself was to add enough narrative so that the film doesn’t look like a dance concert, but also enough dance so that it doesn’t look like a film exercise.”

When it came to picking the dancers for the film, Renzi said that she was looking for something special.  

“There were some really lovely seniors that I didn’t pick. I wanted as much range as I could get. I was really looking for people who looked intelligent and who were willing to take risks and use their faces as well as their bodies,” Renzi said.”In film, or in any type of dance, the face matters, always.”

Among the eleven dancers picked for the film, sophomore dance major, Monica Traggiai, 19, admitted that this whole dance experience has been eye-opening. 

“For me personally, this is a brand new experience working with dance on film,” Traggiai said. “It’s really awesome to get to see not only how specific you have to be with the dancing itself, but also how the camera works and the whole importance of getting the right angle. It’s nice being able to see dance from the director and the videographer perspective.”

According to Traggiai, the audition for the film was very different from a regular dance audition. For the film audition, the dancers were given the opportunity to come up with their own dance routine with a partner. The audition was hard because it was different, Traggiai said.

SRU professor of dance, Dr. Keller will assist Renzi as the camera operator of this film. As a professor, Keller wanted her students to get an opportunity to dance on film as well as work with a professional choreographer.

The theme around the film is still developing, according to Keller. 

“The film will have a country feel to it. Some of the movement is very similar to square dancing.” Keller said.  “I don’t quite know where this is going, but I also think she [Marta] is dealing with themes of both innocence and bullying.”

The film will be screened at the student dance concert in Feb. 2015. 

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