Screendance, a new wave of film art, currently storming across the USA, Europe and Australia recently came to Johannesburg. Hosted at the AFDA Dance Studio in Auckland Park, the first ever Screendance workshop in South Africa featured Scotland-based Screendance promoter, Jeanette Ginslov, who flew in specifically for the workshop.

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Screedance workshop in action
Screendance is a term used to describe dance works made for, or presented on, a screen, be it cinema, television, monitor or projection.  Workshop participants learned how to make their own video dance works.

Commenting on the workshop, Ginslov said they received an encouraging response and she had a great time, working with a manageable class of aspiring screendance learners. However, she felt that aspiring South African filmmakers still needed to learn more in terms of world technology, saying that South Africans were “quite closed to new information”.

Her observation was that most professionals in South Africa do not upgrade their skills. “In the UK, people have to upgrade their skills constantly and so there are many mature student/graduates going back into learning institutions - one such person is me!”

The workshop asked participants to bring along their own cameras and also any previous shoots, if they had any.

“I even asked one to bring her cell phone with camera so we could use that. Only three brought cameras - small but usable as they had to make a 01 min video - edit in camera clip. It appeared that most could not get their hands on a camera...I know what that's like!”

From the response of the participants, what future did she see in the Screendance project in South Africa?

“They responded positively and even though it is taking off extremely slowly in South Africa, I see it will grow as it has in the rest of the world. Overseas it is developing at a rapid rate as more people use alternative platforms to show their work.”

She suggested aspiring Screendance filmmakers to check sites such as Tendu TV, Blip TV, dance-tech.net and You Tube.

Ginslov, who said she had a great time in Gauteng, “would love to do a collaboration with a dance company in South Africa and of course, I’ve had an idea for a long time now - a dance doccie on South African dance!”