Still from La Folía. Shot by Olivia Kimmel, Courtesy Adam Grannick

What to Watch: This Short Film Celebrates the Dancer in All of Us

As we approach Thanksgiving, there's much to be grateful for. Perhaps one of the most important things on your list is dance. Whether you're a full-time company member, an aspiring professional, an audience member, or you simply delight in dancing in your daydreams, this art form is a creative escape.

That's not to say that being a dancer is easy: Pursuing such a competitive career can be heartbreaking, especially when you're faced with rejection.

La Folía, a short dance film by director Adam Grannick that was recently released online, echoes these sentiments in under 12 minutes.


Still from La Folía. Shot by Mickey Lewitter, Courtesy Adam Grannick.

The 24 quick vignettes are all set to a familiar classical melody, known as "La Folía," a theme that's been recycled by various composers over the last 500 years. Many of the snapshots involve dance—a teen girl rejected from an audition because she doesn't have a typical ballet body, or a corporate woman who reflects on flamenco dancing as she rides the elevator to her office (perhaps she used to be a dancer, or she wishes that she could be). All of the stories, however, are told without dialogue, often with repetitive motions, and depict a series human struggles: There's the work-weary businessman, who becomes increasingly disheveled on his morning commute as the days tick by. Or the writer, who surrounds himself with an ever-growing pile of crumpled paper, each another rejected attempt at perfection.

At its heart, La Folía is a reminder that, while life isn't perfect, there's a dancer, or an artist, in all of us. And drawing on that can unlock a little magic when we need it most.

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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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