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Fit to Screen

Joint Adventure’s Choreographic Captures

This article was commissioned by the  Korean Arts Management Services and originally published in Korean  for the– a database website for the global exchange of performing arts, a project supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Republic of Korea.

“Tremor,” Ravi Deepres & Wayne Mcgregor, 3rd Prize 2008, ©Ravi Deepres

Two winters ago, I chanced upon Joint Adventure’s Choreographic Captures at an international film festival held at Gasteig in Munich.  I arrived at the venue during the scheduled of presentation by its Founder and Artistic Director, Walter Heun. While examining the piece of paper about the project and talking to some unknowing audiences like myself about the adjusted timetable, without much fuss, Heun offered to conduct the discussion at that instant.

As the experienced dance producer presented the winning entries for Choreographic Captures, I found it thrilling to be exposed to a new texture for dance inside the cinema. It offered a fresh sensation in viewing choreography in a larger than life format, as oppose to the conventional dance portrayal set within the parameters of a stage.   Transformed into 35 mm, high quality dance films, the series of 60-seconder Choreographic Captures produced specifically for the big screen encapsulated witty and concise moving images.

According to its organisers, this art project and short-film competition was initiated in 2008 inspired by a motto “Art for those who didn’t ask for it.” Under the leadership of Heun, Choreographic Captures is run by the Munich-based agency, Joint Adventures represented as a programme in the umbrella of Access to Dance.[i] “The goal is as simple as it is ambitious: to use unconventional means to increase people’s awareness of the art forms of film, dance and choreography.” Speaking beyond predictable formulas, Choreographic Captures is formatted into a comprehensive language for the greater public, while maintaining its artistic characteristics.  Produced like an advertising material, a Choreographic Capture is a short clip embracing a considerably broad definition of dance, movement and choreography. As noted in their portal, “Choreography here in the broadest sense of the word is understood as an arrangement of movement in space and time, whereby the movement need not be restricted to human bodies but can also involve any other object.” This project challenges boundless imaginative scope in the crossing between film and choreography.  What distinguishes it from a classical advertising clip is its artistic and cerebral approach that abhors commercial objectives. It exemplifies in reclaiming artistic spot within the public and commercial spaces.  Moreover, Choreographic Captures serves as a surprise treat for cinema audiences to be confronted with art in an unlikely venue. Thereby, challenging traditional patterns of perception and habit of seeing.

“Zero Gravity,” Stéphane Bourhis & Nicolas Neefs, 3rd Prize 2010, ©Nicolas Neefs

Financed by the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Bundeskulturstiftung) for the years 2009-2011, Choreographic Captures is deemed to pursue the development of this prototype in the realm of trans-disciplinary process in contemporary dance and media production. The focal point of the project is the annual international Choreographic Captures Competition. Choreographers, dancers, media artists and filmmakers are invited to submit their professionally filmed Choreographic Captures to Joint Adventures. To date, various art practitioners have produced around 300 films for the Choreographic Captures competition. These clips have been shown in the highly diverse and unconventional locations in public space, cinemas including the project’s online portal.

Each year, an independent and international jury of experts[ii] for Choreographic Captures Competition awards two prize categories to its winners: monetary and cinema prizes. Winning films commended for their artistic quality can expect to receive an amount of 2000 Euros (1st prize), 1000 Euros (2nd prize) and 500 Euros (3rd prize) respectively. For the cinema prize, winning artists can expect to have their films presented throughout Germany and Europe.   Considering that the competitive entries satisfy the cinema pre-conditions, the dance clips will be shown prior to feature film screenings as part of the theatre’s advertising series. The monetary and cinema prizes may be awarded independently of one another.

A total of 15 prizes have been awarded in the past three years.[iii] Five winning clips are currently being shown at selected 2000 cinemas throughout the country.  In addition to screenings in Germany, further showings in France, Spain, Switzerland and other countries are designed. 

 A selection of Choreographic Captures entries are made available in the project’s website as well as social networking platforms such as myspace and youtube.

Apart from the annual professional competition, Choreographic Captures’ website will see the expansion into a multilingual, interactive platform for choreographic short films around the world. Through these interactive options, the project organisers hope to open new virtual spaces for this art form, and encourage more people in creating their own high-quality artistic clips. 
The 49-year old project initiator, Heun wishes to work with international artists to anchor Choreographic Captures in the media-based (youth) culture and promote its international distribution. In addition to making the films widely available via its Internet portal, the project will look into using other digital channels to promote interaction between choreography and media art.

Reclaiming Spaces: Cinemas and Public Arena

“body trail CCTV,” Willi Dorner & Michael Palm, 1st Prize 2009, © Michael Palm

Choreographic Captures project pursues an essential goal: to surprise people by confronting them with art at different and often unconventional places. Joint Adventures enables these short art films infiltrate public space via diverse pathways. In this manner, people who do not expect it will come into contact with choreography, dance through the artistic film medium. Inserted into commercial surroundings, these art films unmistakably occupy a counter-position to the economic interests represented in commercial advertising clips.

This art project in the public arena aims to attract hitherto unimagined attention to the art of dance.  Shown in a public medial space (cinemas, internet), Choreographic Captures is reclaiming the rightful attention for dance practice in the realm of the general economy. These surprise meetings can take place at festivals, trade fairs or open-air events throughout Europe.

Choreographic Captures continues to encourage and forge collaborations with various artists and institutions.   Apart from the dedicated team of Joint Adventures, the following entities have contributed to the sound realisation of this project: Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München, the Kulturfonds Bayern, Bezirk Oberbayern, PICTORION das werk GmbH, ARRI Film & TV Services GmbH, Kodak GmbH, Young Germany – your career, education and lifestyle guide, Neues Rex Kino, Arena Kino, Hotel Olympic, Meta Theater München, and Museum Villa Stuck.

Notes and Links:

“7 a.m.,” Annett Göhre, 3rd Prize 2010, © Jan Adamial

To view the dance clips and know more about this project, visit<

[i] ACCESS TO DANCE is a program to promote contemporary dance, initiated and executed by Tanzbasis e.V. – a cooperation of Munich dance organizations and institutions. The program is funded by the Department of Arts and Culture of the City of Munich and by the Bavarian Association for Contemporary Dance funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts.

[ii] Jurors in 2010:

Andreas Ströhl (director of Filmfest München, Germany) Frédéric Mazelly (director of the performing arts department at Parc et Grande Halle de la Villette, France) Núria Font Solà (director of NU2’s – a project that connects dance and the movement arts with audiovisuals – in Barcelona, Spain)

Jurors in 2009: Andreas Ströhl (director Filmfest Munich, Germany) Frédéric Mazelly (director of the performing arts department at Parc et Grande Halle de la Villette, France) Thierry de Mey (artistic director of Charleroi Danses, Belgium)

Jurors in 2008:

Guy Gypens (artistic director, Kaaitheater, Belgium) Portland Green (Interim Direktor, CAPTURE; Direktor, Portland Green Cultural Projects, Great Britain) Dieter Schneider (editor and theatrical director at ZDF, Germany)

[iii] Award winners for 2010 1st Prize and Cinema Prize
Hannah Shakti Bühler (D/I): “PasadaParAGA” Choreographer: Hannah Shakti Bühler, Director: Hannah Shakti Bühler, Dario Fernandez
; 2nd Prize and Cinema Prize
Annett Göhre (D): “7a.m.” Choreographer: Annett Göhre, Director: Annett Göhre, Jan Andamiak

; 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Rainer Michaelis (D): “Sunday Frame of Mind” Choreographer: Rainer Michaelis, Director: Rainer Michaelis 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Stéphane Bourhis (F), Nicolas Neefs (BE): “Zero Gravity”
Choreographer: Stéphane Bourhis, Director: Nicolas Neefs 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Anna Dubrovska (LV): “I don’t want to dance”
Choreographer: Anna Dubrovska, Director: Anna Dubrovska

Award winners 2009

1st Prize and Cinema Prize
Willi Dorner/ Michael Palm (A): „body trail CCTV“ Choreographer: Willi Dorner, Director: Michael Palm, Willi Dorner 2nd Prize and Cinema Prize
Shumpei Nemoto (J): „AR“ Choreographer: Shumpei Nemoto, Director: Shumpei Nemoto 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Tim Flechter (NZ/CH): „Entangled“ Choreographer: Tim Fletcher, Director: Tim Fletcher 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
huber&christen (Vanessa Huber-Christen & Lorenz Huber – D/CH): „Aside“ Choreographer: Vanessa Huber-Christen, Director: Lorenz Huber 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Ilona Pászthy & Julia Franken (I/D): „Vielleicht” Choreographer: Ilona Pászthy, Director: Ilona Pászthy, Julia Franken

Award winners 2008

1st Prize and Cinema Prize
Anna Dubrovska: „Rush“ Choreographer: Anna Dubrovska, Director: Anna Dubrovska 2nd Prize and Cinema Prize
Philippe Saire: „Faire Diversion“ Choreographer: Philippe Saire, Director: Philippe Saire 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Željko Jančić Zec: „Waterish“ Choreographer: Željko Jančić Zec, Director: Željko Jančić Zec 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Ravi Deepres / Wayne McGregor: „Tremor“ Choreographer: Wayne McGregor, Director: Ravi Deepres 3rd Prize and Cinema Prize
Alex Reuben: „Que Pasa“ Choreographer: Alex Reuben, Director: Alex Reuben; Louise James

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