For the inaugural Past, Present, Future dance film festival, ALL ARTS collaborated with choreographers Kyle Abraham of A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Pam Tanowitz of Pam Tanowitz Dance and the artists of Kinetic Light and filmmakers Dehanza Rogers, Liz Sargent and Katherine Helen Fisher to illuminate how dancers interpret various stages of time as motivation. The three films that comprise Past, Present, Future premiere Sunday, May 9 – Tuesday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET nationwide on the ALL ARTS app and allarts.org/PastPresentFuture, and in the New York Metro area on the ALL ARTS TV channel (channel lineup).

ALL ARTS is committed to access for the Past, Present, Future festival including audio description and captions for all films and one film with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. Marketing efforts for this festival also integrate access, including photo descriptions. To ensure accessibility, ALL ARTS tapped Bridge Multimedia to provide closed captions and audio descriptions.

You can view the trailer here.

The choreographers and filmmakers all created their works during a time complicated by the uncertainty and constraints of the coronavirus pandemic. Past, Present, Future provides a rare opportunity to witness a time capsule of the thoughts, processes and artistry of the choreographers, including how these artists view their field at a challenging present moment, when the future holds numerous unknowns.

“This year’s festival allows ALL ARTS to employ choreographers and filmmakers at a time when COVID has led to a lot of canceled work,” said Diane Masciale, Co-Executive in Charge of ALL ARTS. “We’re also happy to be shining a light on some of the most impactful choreographers in dance today. We encouraged their full freedom of expression and really couldn’t be happier with the results. Each film is completely different but equally inspiring.”

The screen is divided into a grid of 5 sections. Alice is repeated in three sections. Alice, a multi-racial Black woman with coffee-coloured skin and curly brown hair, is flying intently towards the camera. Alice arcs so her belly is to the floor and wheels rise behind; thick black cables connect to her from above. The energy feels electric, jolted. In the top corner sections Brandon, a mixed race Black artist, signs multiply in front of a bright white backdrop. Alice Sheppard of Kinetic Light; still from One + One Make Three/Safety Third Productions.

The Past, Present, Future dance film festival lineup on ALL ARTS features: 

“If We Were a Love Song” (Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m.):

“If We Were a Love Song” is produced by Dehanza Rogers for ALL ARTS. Music by Nina Simone. Choreography by Kyle Abraham. Directed by Dehanza Rogers. Performed by Kyle Abraham, Tamisha A. Guy, Keerati Jinakunwiphat, Claude “CJ” Johnson, Catherine Kirk, Jae Neal, Donovan Reed and Gianna Theodore. Featuring The Bell Family, Leton and Amari Hall and Niara Sterling. Kyle Abraham is Creative Director and Executive Producer. Kirby Griffin is Director of Photography. T.J. Alston is Gaffer. Dehanza Rogers is Editor and Colorist. Additional Photography by Gyasi Mitchell.

“DANCERS (Slightly Out of Shape)” (Monday, May 10 at 8 p.m.)

Conceived by choreographer Kyle Abraham and set to some of Nina Simone’s most intimate and stirring songs, If We Were a Love Song is a dance film that offers a cultural portrait of his company and community. Created in collaboration with A.I.M and filmmaker Dehanza Rogers, this series of poetic vignettes strips down Abraham’s idiosyncratic and emotionally-driven movement to match the raw power of Simone’s music, showing that deep grief and profound love often live in the same quiet moment. This film will be closed captioned and audio described.Captured by filmmaker Liz Sargent’s verité lens, choreographer Pam Tanowitz and her dancersreturn to rehearsal during 2020’s pandemic. Tanowitz ponders the fleeting nature of performance and reimagines the future of her work on film. Audiences are given a rare look into the choreographer’s creation style. For its finale, the film shifts gears and features fully fledgedexcerpts from “Every Moment Alters,” which features music by Caroline Shaw. In contrast to therehearsal process, Tanowitz describes the style of the final dance as polished and cinematic. This film will be closed captioned and audio described.

“One + One Make Three” (Tuesday, May 11 at 8 p.m.)
Director Katherine Helen Fisher’s documentary/dance film, with acclaimed disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light, includes innovative experimentation in which access is as challenging, provocative, and beautiful as the art itself.
According to Diane Masciale, Co-Executive in Charge of ALL ARTS,  “As with the other choreographers ALL ARTS invited to participate in the Past, Present, Future festival, Kinetic Light was selected because of the undeniable impact of their work. In addition to being blown away by the film that was created, we are grateful for the crucial role Kinetic Light has played in advocating for the entire festival to be more accessible. They’ve inspired and guided us in establishing new practices for increasing the accessibility of the other films in the festival and future programming on ALL ARTS.” This film takes audiences behind the scenes, into the studio, and into the air. Dancers partner, spin, and soar, as they reflect on art, dance, and disability as a creative force. Featuring dance artists Jerron Herman, Laurel Lawson, and Alice Sheppard; artist/ASL interpreter Brandon Kazen-Maddox; and audio describer Cheryl Green. The broadcast version of this film integrates ASL and Open Captions and optionally available Enhanced Audio Description. The film is available in four versions online: ASL + Open Captions + Audio Description; ASL only; Open Captions + Audio Description; and Open Captions only. An audio file of Audio Description and transcripts will also be available.

Leadership support for ALL ARTS is generously provided by Jody and John Arnhold and the Arnhold Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Anderson Family Fund and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

About ALL ARTS

ALL ARTS is breaking new ground as the premier destination for inspiration, creativity and art of all forms. This New York Emmy-winning arts and culture hub is created by The WNET Group, the parent company of New York’s PBS stations. With the aim of being accessible to viewers everywhere, ALL ARTS’ Webby-nominated programming – from digital shorts to feature films – is available online nationwide through allarts.org, the free ALL ARTS app on all major streaming platforms, and @AllArtsTV on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

New York area TV viewers can also watch the 24/7 broadcast channel. For all the ways to watch, visit allarts.org/everywhere.