Two videos stand out at Jumping Frames festival

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 September, 2012, 10:28am

There are two screenings to look out for at the upcoming Jumping Frames International Dance Video Festival.
One is
The Akram Tree, featuring British-Bangladeshi choreographer/dancer Akram Khan, and the other is
Gala's Dreams with local choreographers/dancers Mui Cheuk-yin and Xing Liang.

Khan is no stranger to this city: he has performed here a number of times, including with ballet star Sylvie Guillem (2007) and actress Juliette Binoche (2009). But it was his performance in last year's
Desh (this newspaper described it as "stunning") that really placed him on our collective radar.

Directed by Francesco Cabras and Alberto Molinari, the film (running just over 80 minutes) is set in Abu Dhabi. Through "artistic portrayals" of his dancers and musicians, Khan relates how his past and background - born in Bangladesh, brought up in London - influence his vision, and how he combines his classical Indian Kathak training with contemporary dance.

Gala's Dreams is interesting not only because it features two of this city's finest choreographers/dancers, but because the film - directed by Mark Chan and based on a 2003 piece
The Enigma of Desire: Dali vs Gala for the City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) - was set aside and only re-surfaced after nine years. Chan had kept the 2003 footage - lasting about seven hours - in storage since then, but agreed to release it for the festival as an eight-minute video.

"When I saw the original footage, I was taken by how well the film had kept as well as how contemporary the piece looked … the movement, images, techniques … the video looks beautiful," says the festival's curator, Raymond Wong Kwok-wai.

The video, inspired by poet Antonio Gala and painter Salvador Dali, explores a woman's solitude and loneliness. The character Mui portrays appears restless, especially when she is seduced by Xing's sexual prowess represented by a long swan neck. It was after this piece that the two artists became a real-life couple.

The festival received about 90 entries from around the world and a dozen made it to the official selection. Five will be awarded with a prize. It also features works by Max Lee, Mike Figgis, Thierry De Mey, Hung Hung and Lee Yanor.

Organised by the CCDC, the festival runs from September 27 to October 4 at various venues.