Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An evening screening of films by dance artist Gabri Christa

Gabri Christa and Niles Ford
in Savoneta (2008)
(photo: Dolph van Stapele) 

Museum of the Moving Image

presents

Dancing with Our Past

film screening and live event

appearance by filmmaker/choreographer 
Gabri Christa

followed by a reception sponsored by 
Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Friday, October 24, 7pm

Gabri Christa
(photo: Malgorzata Headshot)

Born and raised in Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean, Gabri Christa came to filmmaking after a successful career as a choreographer and dancer. She choreographed and danced with companies such as Danza Contemporanea de Cuba (Cuba) and the Bill T. Jones Dance Company (United States). 
Christa's short films connect the relationship of historic buildings and sites to their environment, and reflect upon the people and cultures that inhabit them. Each film—Quarantine (2007, 10 mins.), Savoneta (2008, 14 mins.), and Kasita (2014, 21 mins.)—sheds a different light on Dutch history through dance, text, music, and movement. Filmed on the Dutch Caribbean islands of Curaçao and Bonaire, they tell stories of the Dutch African diaspora, from a time when Peter Stuyvesant was governor of both New Amsterdam and the Dutch Caribbean.
Space, Place and Memory
How to capture the memory of a space, the place where people lived, loved, fought, a place of such reverence all loaded with slavery's past? How does the body feel and deal with the memories of those feelings in that space? A body moving in space is very concrete, especially in an empty space. I could speak about form and shape and make it physical, but what drives me is more spiritual. I long to communicate a feeling, a smell, a memory, one that is not necessarily mine. I want to capture the spirit that still lingers and the flood of images, smells, stories that call out from behind the dust, or make an interpretation of that feeling crawling onto my skin. People once lived and worked here, and a space absent of them and their things still speaks loudly, begging not to be forgotten. So I am telling tales of sound, movement is what is left, without words and sometimes with. Glorious amidst a bright sun, now associated with a Caribbean vacation, but the past still lingers and is still relevant. How to capture that on film? How to imagine this in movement? Those essential questions I explore while I made these films and in all three I take a different approach, combining the old (music and dance) with the new (music dance image).
--Gabri Christa
For complete information and tickets, 
click here.

Dancing with Our Past is part of the Changing the Picture (2014) series, organized by Chief Curator David Schwartz and Warrington Hudlin.
This ongoing series celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen. The series, which consists of screenings and discussions with directors, writers, actors, scholars, and more, includes contemporary work as well as historically significant work that has played an important role in the evolving attempt to “change the picture” and bring a wider variety of voices and visions to the moving image. 
Click here for more information on Changing the Picture.

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue (at 37th Street), Astoria, Queens
(map/directions)

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