On the Trail of Ruth St. Denis: India 1926
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Talal Al-Muhanna (Producer/Director/Co-writer)

Talal Al-Muhanna is a dance and documentary filmmaker with a background in the performing arts. Talal began his film studies at the New School University in New York and later gained both a BA and MA in Film & Moving Image Production from the Northern Film School at Leeds Metropolitan University in the U.K. As a documentary filmmaker, Talalís directorial work seeks to highlight the cultural identities and artistic practices of the peoples of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. His documentary Dancing on the Edge - which followed a group of Western and Asian performance artists as they toured China - screened at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai and at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific FIlm Festival in 2010. As a dance documentary filmmaker he explores the stories behind historic dance personalities through the artists who keep their stories alive today.

Talalís experimental dance film Kamera 1/Kamera 2 with dancers of William Forsytheís Ballett Frankfurt screened at numerous festivals internationally, on the BBC Big Screen and received a Jury Special Mention at Coreografo Elettronico in Naples, Italy: ďA perfect combination of dance and camera.Ē

www.talmuhanna.com

Directorís Statement

   
Liz Lea (Presenter & Performer)

Australian-born dance artist Liz Lea trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance and in India at the Darpana Academy. Lea specializes in creating works that combine Eastern and Western dance forms through a fusion of Western contemporary dance and classical Indian dance (i.e. Bharata Natyam). For the past 8 years, she has researched the life and work of Ruth St. Denis, successfully recreating interpretations of St. Denisí work for contemporary audiences worldwide. www.leadance.com

Choreographer Statement

Lakshye Kataria (Director of Photography)

Lakshye is a Delhi-born cinematographer currently based in the U.K. On the Trail of Ruth St. Denis is his first collaboration with filmmaker Talal Al- Muhanna.

Krishna Francis (Editor)

Krishna is a U.K.-based filmmaker and editor. He began his career in London working in film and television and later returned to university to gain his postgraduate degree in Film & Moving Image Production from Leeds Metropolitan University. Previous projects with Talal Al-Muhanna include the 16mm short U.O.Me (Clermont-Ferrand Film Market and Cannes Short Film Corner 2010) and the dance documentary Martha@The Wells: Celebrating 25 Years of Dance Umbrella Ė featuring New York-based performer Richard Move and performances from renowned contemporary choreographers Mark Morris, Trisha Brown and Richard Alston.

Nick Parkin (Composer)

Nickís music career began in the early 1980's when he worked as a multiinstrumentalist for major dance and theatre companies. Since 1995 he has released over 10 cds and has collaborated on both live improvisations and albums with many artists including Clive Bell, Pete Lockett, Z'ev, Tuu, TomWallace, Stillpoint, Tom Gillieron, David Stevens and Alio Die (aka Stefano Musso). Nickís compositions in On the Trail of Ruth St. Denis were created originally as a commission by Lea Dance for a live stage work inspired by St. Denisís seminal dance work Radha.  www.nickparkin.com

Omar Al-Masab (Visual FX/Online Editor)

Omar is a Kuwait-based filmmaker and visual effects specialist. His animated film Naked Human received a Jury Special Mention at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai in 2009 and he has directed and produced the 3D short The Last Mortal Journey Ė premiered at the 3rd Gulf Film Festival in 2010. His previous collaboration as an online editor with Talal Al-Muhanna (for the documentary Dancing on the Edge) screened in competition at the 3rd Gulf Film Festival in Dubai and in the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2010. Omarís visual effects work was showcased in Media Production magazine in January 2010. www.ofilms.me

 
 
Texts @ 2011 Talal Al-Muhanna & Liz Lea