Featured: Linxin (Kisa) Li, a dancer performing in Threshold. Li is currently a Master of Fine Arts student at Florida State University, School of Dance.
Commissioned by FSU’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, the film Threshold uses dance and 360-degree video technology to capture the journey of four women as they heal from their past traumas.
Threshold was co-produced by Malia Bruker, film director and Associate Professor in FSU’s School of Communication, and Ilana Goldman, choreographer, dancer and Associate Professor in FSU’s School of Dance.
The personal nature of the film extends beyond the film’s theme of trauma as Bruker and Goldman decided to draw inspiration from the real experiences and emotions felt by the as well as the filmmakers.
The four dancers performing in Threshold are Annali Rose Clevenger, Ilana Goldman, Kehinde Ishangi, Linxin (Kisa) Li.
360 Degree Film: An Immersive Experience
Threshold is both Bruker and Goldman’s first film shot in 360 degrees, a spherical video where every direction is recorded simultaneously. Because of this, a headset is generally required to view the film.
Using 360 degree technology largely resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating a safer, more socially distanced space for filmmakers and performers to film in as it required less on-site staff and could be shot while maintaining a minimal distance of 6-feet-apart.
Moreover, Goldman explained how filming in 360 degree compliments the personal theme of the film (which focuses on trauma through dance) by creating a more immersive experience for the viewer, describing it as, “a good way for the viewer to actually feel like a part of the film and to question their role in the situation.”
Adding, “To witness it but also be immersed in it. We thought it would create more empathy.”
Capturing Threshold in 360 technology also served to heighten more psychological representations of trauma’s impact as Professor Bruker asserted, “one way of representing trauma and sexual trauma is a tightening, like a very compressed environment. And a release from that and moving beyond that can often feel like a spatial kind of release.”
Even creating the film was a completely different experience as the film was shot with long takes and minimal editing. “And so it feels like a live performance. It’s the first time I’ve ever made a dance film that felt like a live performance,” said Professor Goldman, who choreographed and danced in the film.
Healing in Threshold
Goldman explained the role that dance played in communicating how the body responds to trauma and plays a part in healing. “The body may say things that words can’t. And sometimes things can’t really be explained. But they can be felt and experienced,” she said.
While trauma is often an isolating experience, Threshold conveys how being in community with others can ignite a healing process.
“One of the most important aspects of the film is the isolation that you can feel when you’ve experienced trauma, how alone and isolated you can be. And then, through the process of healing, there’s a sense of connection and community,” said Professor Goldman.
Drawing inspiration from the concept of the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken pottery is reunited with gold lacquer, Goldman explained how that imagery influenced the direction of Threshold.
“You can’t erase the trauma, or the brokenness, what broke, you can’t erase it, but you can put yourself back together. And those scars can make you beautiful. They’re part of your new self but you can move forward,” she said.
Threshold will be shown at the Agropoli Dance Festival in Agropoli, Italy from July 23 to the 25th. Tallahassee audiences can view Threshold at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts on Oct. 7 and Oct. 9. While an official date is yet to be set, the film is anticipated to screen on FSU campus in the coming Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 semester.
We are hesitant to use the word “premieres” for this event since it is a little more informal than a premiere and would like to reserve that status for another event. Could you write something like:
Threshold is being shared at the Agropoli Dance Festival in Agropoli, Italy from July 23rd to the 25th and the filmmakers will attend next year’s festival to present the film. Tallahassee audiences can see Threshold at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts on October 7th and 9th.
thank you for the clarification, it has been fixed!