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August 2, 2016
Review: Boundless in Brooklyn, a 48-Hour Dance Film Contest

Boundless In Brooklyn, a 48-hour dance film contest produced by of bones || hollye bynum, began on Friday evening, July 29 and lasted until 6pm, Sunday evening, July 31. The twelve films were screened, judged by a panel of experts, and awarded on Sunday evening, July 31, at the Boundless Screening Gala at the Mark Morris Dance Center’s James and Martha Duffy Performance Space. With about 150 audience members and participants eager to see the contest results, hosts and co-creators Sam Owens and Hollye Bynum expressed their enthusiasm and gratitude for the participants, all of varying backgrounds, ages, and abilities. Owens and Bynum have created the Boundless platform to grant the opportunity for twelve teams, selected on a first-come, first-serve basis, to create and present dance film in an un-curated and open environment.

The first ever Boundless Award for best film went to “The Obies,” a team of Oberlin College students (and one recent grad) for their film Not Today. The film is directed, filmed, and edited by Sofia Attebery (former Dance Films Association intern), danced by Lola Gatti and Molly Gorin, and choreographed by Attebery, Gatti, and Gorin. Not Today is a witty and clever film that employs humorous conflict, enticing movement, and spirited music to tell the story of a strange encounter between two women at Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain. When faced with a strict deadline and given three inclusionary items for their film—ice cream truck, statue, and cartwheel—The Obies gave themselves yet another challenge: dance comedy. It's a feat that many don’t even dare approach, but The Obies pulled off with ease.

Not Today opens with a woman (Gorin) running in a tight dress and high heels through Central Park amid runners and cyclists—and the audience is quick to react to the comedy. Right away, the viewer is connected with an outsider sensibility and is prepared for absurdity. Absurd indeed, conflict arises when the comedically clumsy Gorin takes off her dress to wash it in the fountain and notices a woman (Gatti) sitting nearby with a suitcase. At the thought of stealing the other woman’s clothes, the audience thinks, “surely not!” and is pleasantly (un)surprised at Gorin’s thievery. Deadpan and expressionless, Gatti reacts with only the slight shift of her sunglasses down her nose. While much of the battle between the two is fought out in blank stares, other moments are crammed with quick and expansive movements. The women challenge each other to the point of throwing themselves and a suitcase-worth of clothing into Bethesda Fountain. Not only does the film leave the audience in laughter, it has beautifully intertwined the inclusionary items, and was gracefully constructed in a tight 48 hours.

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Written by: Kathryn Turney
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