Four people are covered in mud. They stand alone on an island with eyes that shift and then with bodies that roll, leap, twitch, swoop, and hide underneath the earth. The dancers are quirky, animalistic, and bizarre. They exist in a place uninhabited by other humans, but you watch them from the comfort of your office chair.
We are graduating from The Ohio State University with BFAs in Dance and are planning our first project as graduates! We are filming a 10-15 minute dance film on Little Tybee Island, an island near Savannah that can only be reached by boat, for one week this May. Three other graduating students from the OSU Department of Dance are joining us to create a piece about how people can relate to and within an isolated environment. After we have created the film, it will be available online for everyone to see whenever they want. We will also submit it to film festivals all over the world, including Dance Camera West (Los Angeles), Frame Works Dance Film Series, San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Festival Internacional Videodanza Chile, Dance and Media Japan, and Cinedans Amsterdam. We are also planning to have a special screening for the Savannah community.
The Problem (and Solution)
Even though dancing on an island is free, making a dance film on it is not. We need $2,000 to pay for
- Transportation costs
- Composer wages
- Videographer wages
- Dancer wages
We would love for you to become a part of our collaborative team! For contributing to the project, you will receive copious amounts of thanks that range from a grateful note to the ability to download the final film to being listed as a producer in the film’s credits. You can help make our vision a reality! Check out our perks for all the details.
As dancer-artists, we feel compelled not only to make thought-provoking, beautiful art, but to also share it with the community. Dance film gives us a great avenue to reach people who would not normally come to a theatre to see contemporary dance because the art is brought right to their computer screens.
Ohio State has one of the best dance departments in the country, and we feel ready to step out with our own fresh voice. We have been creating and performing in works outside the university while still in school, including an art benefit in Chicago, a college dance festival in Brooklyn, The American Dance Festival, dance intensives in New York City, a pop-up art show in Ann Arbor, and (for one of our dancers) in a Broadway musical! We are ready and excited to make our mark on the dance scene, and we want to make that mark as accessible to as many people as possible.
Here is the link to Rebekah’s vimeo page, where you can find two of her dance films and other videos of choreographic work in progress. Bookmark this page to check back for the finished island dance film!
You can help us share dance on screen in several ways. Here’s what you can do:
- Make a contribution to our campaign
- Share a link to this page with friends and family who may also be excited about our project
- Keep checking back to find links to the finished film
Rebekah Edie (choreographer, director and performer) originally from Savannah, GA, is a senior at The Ohio State University where she will graduate in the spring with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has performed with various choreographers including Bebe Miller, Meghan Durham, Dante Brown, Ohad Fishof and Noa Zuk. She has danced in many landscapes while at Ohio State, including agricultural arenas, climbing walls, libraries and hillsides. Most recently, she performed “Tall Girl, Short Girl,” (choreography Rebekah Edie and Madeline Irmen) at Dancewave’s Kids Café in Brooklyn, NY. Her dance film “tango to no one” was also just shown at THAW 2013 in Chicago, IL. During her junior year, Rebekah received funding from the Undergraduate Research Scholarship, International Experiences Grant, Arts and Humanities Small Grant and Semester Funding Initiative to travel to Burkina Faso, West Africa to study traditional and contemporary West African dance, as well as conduct interpersonal research on identity and border crossing for her senior project research. Rebekah is currently finishing up her senior project, a piece to be performed at ACCAD (Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design) that compiles her three research interests in gender theory, choreography and intermediated work.
Madeline Irmen (choreographer, director and performer), originally from Holland, OH, is a senior at The Ohio State University. She will graduate with honors in the spring with a BFA in Dance. During her time at OSU, she has had the pleasure of performing in works by Michael Kelly Bruce, Susan Hadley, Bebe Miller, Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof, Erik Abbott-Main, Dante Brown, and Erik Speth. She has choreographed for the stage and the screen and has recently co-choreographed and performed “Tall Girl, Short Girl,” at Dancewave’s Kids Café in Brooklyn, NY. Madeline received an Undergraduate Research Scholarship for her Honors Distinction Project, which will be a dance performance utilizing live dance alongside video projections. Her project, “Staring at the Sun,” was choreographed, filmed, and directed in collaboration with Quentin Burley and will be performed at ACCAD (Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design) in April. After graduation, Madeline plans to move to New York City to pursue a performance career.
Ellen Maynard (cinematographer) is a dance artist and filmmaker originally from the West coast. Ellen currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, where she will be graduating with distinction from The Ohio State University this spring, with a BFA in dance and a minor in video art. While living in California, Ellen was inspired by artists such as Jean Isaacs, John Malashock, and Christopher Pilafian. During her time at Ohio State, Ellen has performed in original works by Bebe Miller, Lily Skove, Ann Sofie Clemmensen, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Ohad Fishof, and Noa Zuk. Ellen is specifically interested in weaving dance and film together into a rich sensory experience. Her film, On Such a Day as This, placed in the top 30 videos in the International 60 Seconds Dance Festival 2013. Her most recent project, The Wind is on us Here, Turning, is a film series that spans between the Internet and the Theatre. The Internet films are hosted at www.eshofunifuturenow.com, and the theatre films will premiere at OSU’S ACCAD (Advanced Computing Center for Arts and Design) in April. This project is part of Ellen’s research in dance film at OSU, and was funded by an Undergraduate Research Scholarship. Ellen is excited to keep creating and collaborating with other artists after graduation with projects such as The Original Island Dance Film. After filming on the Island, Ellen will travel to Bates Dance Festival for an internship in videography.
AJ Blankenship (performer) originally from Circleville, OH, recently graduated from The Ohio State University with a BFA in Dance and earned the Magna Cum Laude honors status. During his years in college, Blankenship was a member of the Varsity Cheerleading squad where he performed at the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Gator Bowl. He has competed three times at the UCA College Cheerleading National Championships where he and his team had top ten finishes. He regularly works as a freelance choreographer for cheerleading and dance team programs. Blankenship was recently a member of the Original Broadway cast and First National Tour of Bring It On: the Musical. He also worked as the Assistant Acrobatics Coach for Matilda: the Musical on Broadway. Blankenship has danced with artists Andy Blankenbuehler, Bebe Miller, Meghan Durham-Wall, Olivier Tarpaga, and Dante Brown. Blankenship has worked with Contemporary artist Doo-Sung Yoo on a piece titled Vistauroborg Version 2.0. Blankenship has created several of his own works and continues to choreograph regularly. Blankenship will be moving to NYC to pursue his career in dance and musical theater.
Quentin Burley, performer