At Wilmington’s Cucalorus Festival, Dance-a-lorus is an enduring blend of film, movement

Wilmington’s 27th annual Cucalorus Film Festival opens Wednesday, November 10.

The prospect of this year’s Cucalorus grand finale, however, brings us to one of the festival’s most popular events: Dance-a-lorus. The mix of film and dance will take the main stage at Thalian Hall downtown at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 14.

Techmoja Dance & Theater Co. performs “Sin papeles / Without Papers” during Dance-a-Lorus at the Cucalorus Festival at Thalian Hall in Wilmington in 2019.

Emerged from the black hole that for many was last year, Dance-a-lorus picks up in earnest with seven live performances, collaborations between choreographers and filmmakers, each playing with and expanding the possibilities of each medium by exploring subjects. ranging from the environment to like.

For years a launch event, this year Dance-a-lorus has been moved to the last day of the festival.

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Linda Ann Webb is the coordinator of Dance-a-lorus this year. Webb has presented works at the event every year since 2005, experiencing firsthand the challenges of growing the festival, including the appointment of a New York-based liaison. The work has long been carried out by Cucalorus director Dan Brawley in concert with Wilmington’s Dance Cooperative, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and promoting dance.

Webb said 2021 marks the return – as does Cucalorus in general – to its local sensibilities.

Dance-a-Lorus, seen here in 2019, returns to Thalian Hall on November 14 for the Cucalorus Film Festival.

Dance-a-Lorus, seen here in 2019, returns to Thalian Hall on November 14 for the Cucalorus Film Festival.

“The (Dance Cooperative) was in charge of (Dance-a-lorus) curator this year,” Webb said. “And everything was going well.”

But, Webb said, the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and complicated schedules meant it was up to him to lead the effort.

“I was like, ‘Oh, okay, I’ll do my best.’ So I reached out to as many people as I could think of who had participated in the past, or who wanted to participate and never did. And we had this really good list of people. And then we ended up with only 20 people I had who said they were going to submit, maybe 11 submitted. “

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Webb said the festival saw the need for COVID security guidelines. A vaccination mandate has been agreed and proof of vaccination will be required for admission to festival events.

“It’s been a really trying year navigating all of this,” she said. “I mean, it’s hard enough to have everyone” in a normal year.

Une Nuit Comme Ca was one of the dances performed at Dance-a-Lorus during the <a class=opening night of the Cucalorus Film Festival at Thalian Hall in Wilmington, North Carolina on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTczOA–/–~B/aD0xODQ1O3c9MjQwMDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/”/>

Une Nuit Comme Ca was one of the dances performed at Dance-a-Lorus during the opening night of the Cucalorus Film Festival at Thalian Hall in Wilmington, North Carolina on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

One of the results of that, Webb said, is that Dance-a-lorus is less diverse this year. Nonetheless, the choreographers at this year’s festival have strived to be as inclusive as possible while also bringing an adventurous spirit to what comes up on stage.

Schedule for Dance-a-orus 2021

“Event horizon” – Choreographer Linda Ann Webb with filmmaker / editor Patrick Ogelvie; additional footage from Laurence Nadeau and Mike Webb; Creative team members: Joel Vannfuller, Lily Nicole and narrator Rhonda Bellamy. Music by Arturo O’Farrill

Given the enormous effort to glimpse an event horizon – the swirling matter around the black hole of a galaxy some 53.49 million light years from Earth – how do these remarkable images reflect the efforts to solve our climate crisis? Are we approaching our own horizon of ecological events?

“Lullaby” – Film and dance by Mirla Criste on the song “Jemima”. Music and song by Reverend Federico Agnir (1939-2018), words by Mrs. Ruby Agnir.

“Lullabye” is the second installment in a dance-theater series that began with “LOFT” (Dance-a-lorus 2019), a commemorative tribute to the dancer’s father, who died in July 2018.

‘Vaguear Puru’ – Choreography by Nancy Carson with digital imagery by Jeremy Roberts; music by Arvo Pärt; set by Ross Helton

“Vaguear Purus” takes inspiration from the undulating and curving river system of the Amazon River basin and architectural elements to present an immersive experience engaging dancers, music and interactive media. Dancers perform on cylinders of varying heights while interacting with live projections.

“And yet she persists” – Choreography by Sue Meier with a film by Molly Gumbert; creative team members Joy Allen, Mark Sorensen and Anne Brennan; music by Elizabeth Knight, Alma Deutscher and Alicia Keys.

“And Still, She Persists” is based on the “She Persists” art exhibition held at the Cameron Art Museum in late 2020 and early 2021. It focuses on the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution and the challenges facing women still face it today.

“When things collapse” – Filmmaker and choreographer SheaRa Nichi, edited by Katrina Hargrave.

“When Things Fall Apart” begins a series created to talk about what we really know about ourselves and the world. Why do we lock ourselves into a way of thinking for a false sense of security?

‘Interconnection’ – Choreography by Tracey Varga with a film by Patrick Ogelvie; additional images from Sam Shores; music by Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and Louis Armstrong; costume design by Stéphanie Aman.

Three sections of film and dance with special attention to pollution, hunger and homelessness at the global and local levels. The focus will be on positive solutions, highlighting the work of Cape Fear nonprofit community organizations that are tackling these critical issues.

‘Again with the L Word’ – The choreographers D’mitri Cápri and Tara Nobles with the filmmaker Patrick Ogelvie.

Synopsis: A series of vignettes between a couple, mostly funny.

Contact StarNews Arts and Entertainment at 910-343-2343 or [email protected]

Want to go?

What: The Cucalorus Film Festival presents Dance-a-lorus

When: 4 p.m. Sunday, November 14

Or: Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St., Wilmington

Info: Tickets cost $ 15 plus taxes and fees. Proof of vaccination is required.

Details: 910-632-2285 or

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: At Cucalorus, Dance-a-lorus is an enduring blend of film and movement

Gerald R. Schneider

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