North Devon dance film selected for Los Angeles film festival

North Devon Gazette

‘BURNOUT’, a dance film rehearsed by eighteen young North Devon dancers over Zoom during 2021’s lockdown, has been selected for the 2021 Los Angeles Dance Shorts film festival.Â

Taking place in person in Los Angeles on November 13 and online between November 13th-19th, the festival attracts entries from across the world. Last year’s festival featured films from countries including Korea, Ghana, Brazil, Mexico, and the USA.Â

“We’re thrilled to be one of only 18 dance films from across the world selected for the 2021 LA Dance Shorts film festival,” said Claire Ayres, Creative Producer at Beaford.Â

"It’s incredibly exciting to think that our four-minute film, which delivers important messaging and is the product of seven months of hard work, will actually be screened in LA! We’re taking this dance style back to its roots, and with it a piece of North Devon.’Â

BURNOUT was conceived by leading London hip hop theatre artist Joshua ‘Vendetta’ Nash, an expert in the Krump style of street dance which originated in South Central LA.Â

The dance form enabled the young North Devon dancers to express the frustrations they felt during lockdown; the post-lockdown filming on Woolacombe Beach was their first opportunity to perform Joshua’s work together.Â

“It was incredible working with the young people over Zoom to choreograph a film which has been born directly out of the pandemic,” said Joshua Nash. “The film is a real celebration of people coming back together, difference and how we can all start to look ahead after a difficult year.”Â

BURNOUT was commissioned by Beaford, England’s longest-established rural arts initiative, and the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) - a ground-breaking national partnership bringing the best in contemporary UK dance to rural audiences.Â

“This was a great collaboration. Extremely talented dance artists working alongside community participants to create something of high quality”, said Claire Smith, Director of the RTDI. “This opportunity came at the right time for the young people and the artists - it gave a crucial outlet for expression to rurally isolated young people and a much-needed chance for Josh and his dance artists to be creative whilst they were all negotiating the pandemic.”Â

The film was directed by Gemma Pons Alsina, who lives in Croyde, North Devon. Gemma’s other dance films, filmed outdoors in the globally significant natural environment of North Devon’s UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, have attracted over 100,000 views.Â

“When people watch and value the effort you’ve put in to your creative work, it’s very fulfilling. BURNOUT is the result of good teamwork and being selected for the LA Dance Shorts film festival is a great success!,” said Gemma.

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