Friday Film Break: "DIORAMA," Starring Daniil Simkin and Maria Kochetkova

Rising from the seats of an empty theater, Daniil Simkin could be a vampire in an old silent movie. To the percussive, insistent accents played by the Kronos Quartet in this first-time collaboration, longtime partners Simkin and Maria Kochetkova explore the options of dancing together while apart—from Deutsche Oper Berlin and the sand dunes at Skagen, Denmark, with two separate film crews.

"Diorama" is dark, and strange—a surreal and bizarre chase. Choreographer Sebastian Kloborg's movements are steeped in theatricality and experiment; when Kochetkova senses Simkin's presence from her place projected on a backdrop behind him, she's startled and backs away. Nothing is normal right now, so we might as well try something different.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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