RiverRun unveils new screening series
On June 26, the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem will inaugurate its latest special screening series. The RiverRun Arts series will – as the title implies – highlight films about the performing and visual arts.
The first film in the series is producer/director Maia Wechsler’s documentary feature If the Dancer Dances, which will be screened Wednesday, June 26 at the Main Theatre on the campus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, and which will be introduced by UNCSA Associate Dean of Dance Brenda Daniels.
“We are delighted to launch RiverRun Arts, which will showcase documentaries about the performing and visual arts,” said Rob Davis, RiverRun’s executive director. “Just as the production backstory is often so fascinating when it comes to feature films, the backstory behind many exhibits and performances is equally as captivating. We anticipate two or three RiverRun Arts screenings each year to supplement our existing year-round programs.”
The screening is free and open to the public, but people are encouraged to arrive early, as 160 UNCSA summer dance students will also be in attendance in the 280-seat theater.
The film follows the renowned choreographer Stephen Petronio as he prepares his dancers to perform RainForest, the iconic 1968 work by choreographer Merce Cunningham, who formed his dance company while teaching at Black Mountain College in North Carolina if. If the Dancer Dances is the first documentary to explore Cunningham’s work and was timed to coincide with his centennial this year.
No less an authority than Mikhail Baryshnikov praised the film, “If the Dancer Dances grants us rare access, bringing us into the studio to watch the staging of a Merce Cunningham masterwork by the Stephen Petronio Company. It’s the tracking of this intimate process, a dance being passed from one body to another, that makes this film a great gift.”
“I think film has the power to bring enhanced insight to other art forms,” Davis added. “While we’ve featured arts documentaries in our festival, we hope we can broaden those offerings with the RiverRun Arts series.”
The 2020 RiverRun International Film Festival is scheduled for March 26-April 5.
The RiverRun International Film Festival’s “RiverRun Arts” screening of If the Dancer Dances will take place 7:30 p.m. June 26 in the UNCSA Main Theatre, located on the UNCSA main campus, 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. Admission is free. For more information, visit the official RiverRun website.