Submitted by Kuntz and Company
Kuntz and Company, Bellingham’s community storyteller through dance and theatre, presents Documenting Grace: a Film Series, beginning Sunday, December 3. This series of six films was selected to portray dance in its power to give voice to people through movement. The films will be shown at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Avenue, in Fairhaven. Films will roll out one Sunday per month, December through March, at 3pm. Tickets are available on the website, www.kuntzandco.org, and are $12 for general and $6 for seniors/students.
Pam Kuntz, principal of Kuntz and Company, has been keeping dance on people’s minds for decades. “I’m frustrated that dance is sometimes placed in the category of concert dance, or only for those with training,” she says. “I’d like to see it ‘in’ our lives instead of a separate thing we watch from the seats. Dancing has an amazing ability to keep us in the present, to keep us in our world. It opens possibilities to move, to stimulate, and to express.”
Kuntz, an educator, dancer, and choreographer, founded Kuntz and Company in 2005 to give expression to a passion for working with diverse communities to tell their stories through the arts. Those communities include the young, the old, prisoners, parents, families, moms, the dying, those with stories to tell about their bodies, those with disorders, the chronically ill—in summary, everyone who has run into life’s challenges. She has received numerous awards for her work and has been on the faculty of Western Washington University since 1999, teaching dance technique, history, and anatomy.
Support for this series has come from a number of sources, listed individually by film on www.kuntzandco.org. In collecting the series, Kuntz was inspired by the idea that “film might have a different potential for awakening people. We are very receptive to film as a medium, and we tend to let it into our minds without being shut down by our subconscious limitations.”
The kickoff film is “Moving Stories” (Dec 3, 3pm), an inspiring documentary following six dancers from the acclaimed Battery Dance company who travel the world, working with young people who’ve experienced war, poverty, sexual violence and severe trauma as refugees.
In “Calendar Girls” (Jan 7, 3pm), the love of dance and glitter bonds an unlikely group of 60-plus women in southwest Florida. Under the veil of fake lashes and unicorn horns lurks the deeper truths of what aging women face within society.
“The Dancing Man – Peg Leg Bates” (Feb 11, 3pm) brings to the screen the remarkable story of the legendary tap dancer and entrepreneur, Clayton “Peg Leg” who broke down barriers for Black Americans and all people with disabilities. And wrapping up the film series is an evening of shorts (March 3, 3pm).
In “Adumu” African Choreographer Fernando Anuang’A creates a dance show drawing on contemporary dance and Maasai tradition,
“Dance for Change” shows us a dance scene emerging in Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi and “Why I Dance” is a documentary following a group of dancers in Kigali, Rwanda where we gain insight into everyday life in Rwanda and witness these young dancers’ passion and commitment to dance.