Ahead of LDIF 2017, we invited Amy Grain of Serendipity to tell us a little about the films screening at Phoenix for the festival.
Over the last few years Let’s Dance International Frontiers (LDIF) has showcased dance on film at Phoenix – ranging from innovative dance shorts from local students to UK premieres with internationally acclaimed ballerinas.
This year is no different, with LDIF17 bringing both the UK debut of Pharaohs of Memphis, entering the ‘jookin’ community, and the first Leicester screening of Gurumbé, uncovering the untold story of African Adalucians’ contribution to Flamenco.
‘What exactly is jookin?’ we hear you ask. ‘Isn’t Flamenco Spanish?’
Pharaohs of Memphis, directed by Phoebe Driscoll, explores ‘jookin’, a style of street dance originating in Memphis, Tennessee during an era of high crime in the 90s, as an outlet for creative energy and helping to steer young people away from street violence.
Phoebe says “…the dance feels like pure magic, like you have to experience it to understand its overwhelming importance to the Memphis community – and the world.”
Gurumbé, directed by Miguel Ángel Rosales, brings to light the untold contribution of African Andalusians to the passionate art form of Flamenco. Featuring performances alongside interviews with historians, researchers and artists, this documentary reveals the largely ignored influence that African people – brought to Seville to be sold as slaves – have had on the music and dance of the region.
If you fancy taking the leap from screen to stage, there’s an opportunity to see PHILADANCO at Curve for LDIF17. You might remember the company and their founder Joan Myers Brown from Black Ballerina which screened at Phoenix as part of LDIF16.
British Flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves – one of the featured artists in Gurumbé – will also be performing as part of the festival line up at Attenborough Arts Centre.
But as film lovers know, there is no better way to get to the heart of a subject than through a good documentary, and whether its finding out about a new style you’d never heard of, or finding out something new about a style you’ve heard a lot about. These documentaries will do just that, and provide a unique insight into the cultures, communities and people behind two diverse dance techniques.
Pharaohs of Memphis is screening at Phoenix on Wed 3 May and Gurumbé on Mon 8 May. Tickets are available online at phoenix.org.uk or at box office.