Project: Motion loves a good concept, and this time around the concept is "action!" With "Frame By Frame," the local dance collective brings the language of dance to bear on the language of cinema as eight area choreographers and a guest filmmaker comment on everything from Universal horror movies to comedies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and documentaries like I Am a Man.
"We've got a lot of diversity in this show," says Project: Motion executive artistic director Jay Rapp. "Amelia Byrd has taken the music from classic horror shows and created an abstract work that incorporates zombie-like movement. Marianne Bell wanted to work with tap dancers, so she took her inspiration from Gregory Hines."
Other pieces include a Wayne Smith solo that incorporates images from the Memphis sanitation workers' strike and a high-heeled exploration of femininity that takes its cues from the movie Pleasantville.
Collaborating filmmaker Eric Swartz is a visual artist turned director who screened his documentary Children of the Wall at the On Location Film Festival in April.
"Frame by Frame" is also part of a joint endeavor with the Indie Memphis Film Festival, which will host a short series of dance-related films at the Evergreen Theatre May 23rd-25th. Selections include William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet, a feature-length dance documentary inspired by the Shat's great cover of "Common People" with Ben Folds, and Rumba, an almost dialogue-free comedy about rural schoolteachers with a passion for Latin dancing.
"We never get dance films here, so this is a real treat," Rapp says. "Hopefully, we can get our audiences to cross-pollinate."
"Frame by Frame" at the Evergreen Theatre, May 20th-29th. Tickets are $15-$20 (projectmotiondance.org).