A still from Nicole Berger's Holes. Courtesy Shut In Dance Film Fest

The Choreographer of "The Good Place" Just Launched an At-Home Dance Film Fest With Free Tutorials

Looking for a change from all that social-media scrolling while you're social distancing? Check out the Shut In Dance Film Fest, a newly launched opportunity for dancers are home. Helmed by Nicole Berger, Andrew Pearson and Cain DeVore, the all-remote festival is doubling as free training grounds for artists who want to boost their dance-for-camera skills.


Here's how it works: Select one of four prompts—like camouflaging yourself in your apartment or playing with your silhouette and profile—and create a short film using your smartphone. (The Shut In team recommends using FiLMiC Pro, a $14.99 app available for Apple and Android devices.)

Submissions will be evaluated by the creative directors who came up with the prompts: Los Angeles–based dance duo WHYTEBERG, choreographer and freelancer Madison Hicks, spoken word artist City James, and Mark Dendy and Stephen Donovan of dendy/donovan projects. They will choose footage from the submitted videos to each create a final dance film cut together by professional editors.

The best part? Artists who work in the dance-for-camera vein have created 11 video tutorials (and counting) for those who want to dive into their craft. Learn about shifting your perspective from dancemaker to filmmaker in a lesson led by Nicole Berger, festival director and choreographer for "The Good Place." Filmmaker/dancer Nadav Heyman chats about creating quality films on a budget, and dance photographer and videographer Josh S. Rose answers questions like "how many takes should you do?"

The Shut In Dance Film Fest is accepting submissions now through May 30.

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Courtesy Esse

What It Was Like When Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was in the Audience—or Backstage

The 27 years that Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent on the U.S. Supreme Court were 27 years that she spent as one of Washington, D.C.'s most ardent, elegant and erudite supporters of the performing arts. The justice, who died on September 18 of metastatic cancer, was also an avid cultural tourist, traveling to the Santa Fe and Glimmerglass operas nearly every summer, as well as occasionally returning to catch shows in her native New York City.

Ginsburg's opera fandom was well known, but her tastes were wide-ranging. Particularly in the last 10 years of her life, after Ginsburg lost her beloved husband, Marty, it was not unusual for the petite justice and her security detail to be spotted at theaters several nights a week. She saw everything, from classic musicals to serious new plays, plus performances that defied classification, like Martha Clarke's dance drama Chéri, with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, which toured to the Kennedy Center in 2014.

To honor Ginsburg, Dance Magazine asked three dance artists whose performances the justice attended to recall what Ginsburg meant to them.

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