Impossible Image (2023) by Karen Pearlman

Dancing the Archive

Streaming on demand on ODC Connect
October 5–15, 2023
presented in association with the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and ODC 

Admission: $8.99
Streaming tickets available here

What is an archive? This program, presented in partnership with the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, explores the possibilities from the merging of multimedia documentation to the reframing of personal practice. Throughout history, dance has been archived with the use of the most advanced technologies available, be it through notation or recording technology. These records contain value beyond the utilitarian. The International Journal of Screendance recently noted, “The hybrid nature of screendance may allow for new explorations in relation to archival footage to emerge” and the films in this program show the possibilities of these explorations, from the merging of multimedia documentation to the reframing of personal practice.


Impossible Image (2023) by Karen Pearlman (Australia); digital video, color, sound, 9 minutes
Transparent (2022) by Siobhan Davies (UK); digital video, color, sound, 36 minutes

This online program will be accompanied by a pre-recorded Q&A with Pearlman and Davies moderated by Marisa Hayes, Director of Video Danse Bourgogne, co-host of the Afterimages podcast and one of the editors of The International Journal of Screendance.

Impossible Image (2023) by Karen Pearlman

Impossible Image shakes down the patriarchy by remixing the anarchy and gender play of women of the 1920s with the fury, irony and sly humor of dancing women in the 2020s. Inspired by the vibrant energy of silent film-era comediennes and their rampaging disregard for order and expectations, this project combines archival footage and contemporary dance sequences to draw parallels between subversive forms of feminist protest echoing across 100 years.

Transparent (2023) by Siobhan Davies

An experimental documentary and visionary multimedia artwork, Transparent follows the reflections of dancer and choreographer Siobhan Davies as she unravels the complex processes that underpin a life’s work in dance. Through a many-layered discourse between art, movement, history, artifacts, nature and somatics, she draws a complex web of connections between imagined and physical worlds. Still images combine with video and the thread of Davies’ insightful narration to unearth physical memory and contribute to a grounded sense of self within a state of constant change.