University alumna Becky Mikos is headed to Iceland for the Reykjavík International Film Festival after her dance film “Collaborators” qualified as a finalist for the festival's Golden Egg Competition, which is part of the Transatlantic Talent Lab program. The festival takes place Thursday through Oct. 7.
Mikos, who graduated from the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance in May, started “Collaborators” as a part of her senior capstone project last year. Mikos now lives in Seattle, working as an apprentice with the Spectrum Dance Theater, and preparing for her trip to Iceland.
“Collaborators” was shot entirely on camcorders, flip cameras and cell phone video cameras, using three dancers in an abandoned house, said Susan Douglas Roberts, professor of dance and faculty adviser for the film. It was then edited on iMovie and entered into the Reykjavík International Film Festival.
The film focuses on the concept of total immersion in a project, whatever that project may be, Mikos said.
“For me, it was about the fact that no matter what you do, you can find yourself getting lost in it, whether that’s school or work or whatever you choose to do,” Mikos said. “I was looking for how people would react to that.”
Douglas Roberts said there is “real beauty in the juxtaposition” of the film, which features dancers dressed in ball gowns against a barren backdrop.
“Collaborators” is part of an emerging genre called “dance for film,” in which dances are choreographed as if they were to be performed on stage. The dances are then filmed on camera to create a more personal effect.
Jenn Shinn, a senior ballet major and a dancer in the film, said the genre is interesting because of the different perspective it brings to the field of dance.
“I think dance is made just as much for the camera as it is made for the stage, because it gives it a new perspective that you really can't get in a theater setting,” Shinn said.
Dance for film has been around for years, but is just now hitting its peak because of social media, she said.
An online fundraising campaign is supporting Mikos’ trip abroad. Mikos raised $3,005 through donations to help her pay for plane tickets and other fees while in Iceland.
“I’m really excited,” Mikos said. “I think it’s a unique film. It’s a dance film, so it has dancers instead of actors with lines. And it’s a very competitive film festival.”
Douglas Roberts said she hopes Mikos’ experience will inspire others to pursue their own goals.
“The idea that if you have a dream, that if you say it out loud and put it in front of you and then walk into it, is alive and well," Douglas Roberts said. "If you want something to happen, you have to make it happen.”
For more information on Mikos' project, go to her fundraising website.