Dance films to screen during college film festival at Sun Studios of Arizona

April 12, 2017

Eighteen short dance films will be featured at the fourth annual Dance Shorts: College Film Festival this Friday, April 14 at Sun Studios of Arizona.

“The festival provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students all over the country to share their short dance films,” said Sharon McCaman, artistic director for the festival and a graduate student in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Katherine Dorn dance MFA in dance student Katherine Dorn’s short film will screen at the Dance Shorts: College Film Festival this Friday, April 14. Photo by Tim Trumble, courtesy of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Download Full Image

McCaman started the festival in 2013 as an undergraduate student in Florida.

“When I came to ASU to work on my master’s degree, I brought the festival with me,” she said. “Screendance work has the potential to be extremely collaborative, especially in an environment like the School of Film, Dance and Theatre.”

The festival spotlights dance films that are between two and six minutes in length. These films can be narrative, experimental or abstract and incorporate any combination of music, lights, costumes and location with dance and today's film technology. 

This year’s festival received 47 submissions from 29 different schools throughout the United States. All of the films were viewed and adjudicated by professionals within the dance and film community, according to McCaman. Films with the highest scores were selected for the festival gala screening. Twelve different schools will be represented at this year’s gala, including ASU.

“All the Things I was Told I Couldn’t Do,” a film created by third-year MFA in dance student Katherine Dorn, will be one of the featured shorts.

“Katie shot and edited her short dance film herself, and it features several ASU dance students,” McCaman said.

This year's festival gala will take place at 7 p.m. April 14 at Sun Studios of Arizona. The gala is free and open to the public. Register for the event online.

Sarah A. McCarty

Marketing and communications coordinator, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


SILC student earns chance to bring love of Russian literature to Russia

April 13, 2017

Lexie Vanderveen, a junior at the School of International Letters and Cultures, will participate in the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship Program for Russian. After a day of orientation in Washington, D.C., Vanderveen will study in Vladimir, Russia, from June 18 to Aug. 19.

“I started taking Russian because my favorite authors are Russian,” Vanderveen said. “I just fell in love with it. ... Dostoyevsky was my first favorite author, and now I’ve started to read more Tolstoy and Chekhov and Pushkin.” Vladimir, Russia Vladimir, Russia. Download Full Image

These authors can be a challenge to read even when translated into English, but Vanderveen felt fulfilled experiencing the texts as they were written. She actually started as a literature major, before switching to Russian and English literature.

She has also studied Latin and Greek, working on translations of the Odyssey and Aeneid.

“You learn more about a language, but you also learn more about the culture, even just idioms and phrases — words that might not have as much importance in the English language,” Vanderveen said.

While studying in Vladimir over eight weeks, Vanderveen will take the equivalent of one academic year of Russian language studies, in addition to living with a host family and going to cultural excursions and lectures. This will be her first time out of the country.

The CLS website boasts Vladimir as “home to culturally important architecture, religious art and historic churches and kremlins. Excursions may include trips to see UNESCO World Heritage sites, museums and monasteries.”

The program also points out the professional benefits of studying Russian, including a “foray into careers as diverse as speech pathology, comparative literature and international trade.”

When Vanderveen came to ASU, she “didn’t know anything about the Russian language, didn’t know anyone else who knew about it.” SILC offered her a strong entry point. She has especially enjoyed the Russian electives, such as Russian media, and challenged herself through Russian for Heritage Speakers as a non-heritage speaker.

“We talked a lot more about the history, the literature, the culture,” Vanderveen said, “the culture of young people as opposed to old, the different emphasis on friendship in Russia, how it differs in America. A lot of comparisons.”

Vanderveen has also participated in a variety of SILC’s cultural events, volunteering at Night of the Open Door to represent the school’s Russian department. She appreciates that within the department, she can always get advice, recommendations and support for her ambitions.

Vanderveen is enrolled in a course through which she translates Chekhov short stories and interns at a literary magazine. This suits her.

“It would be just my dream to be able to have the proficiency to translate Russian poetry and literature into English, and get it published,” Vanderveen said. “I would love to become a translator for Russian literature and share that across different cultures.”

Gabriel Sandler