Lights Dance Festival 2020: Shadows & Songs

The 4th Annual Lights Dance Festival is curated around the concept of Shadows & Songs to consider our humanity in the changing landscape of communication and technology. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, we are not able to congregate in person this year. Instead, this season’s selected films will be made available for streaming for FREE! Don’t forget to vote for your favourite film for the Audience Choice Award!

Schedule of Events

Times listed are in Eastern Standard Time

Thurs., June 18; 7PM: Live opening ceremony, featuring live dance performances.
Thurs., June 18; 7PM: Launch of 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝟏: 𝐁𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐝𝐬
Fri., June 19; 4PM: FREE Online Workshop: “Intro to Ballet with Leigh Schanfein.”
Fri., June 19; 7PM: Launch of 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝟐: 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐨
Sat., June 20; 7PM: Panel discussion with filmmakers
Sun., June 21; 7PM: Panel discussion with filmmakers [CANCELLED]
Tues., June 23; 11:59PM: Deadline to vote for Audience Choice Award
Wed., June 24; 7PM: Closing ceremony with live performances and announcement of Audience Choice Award. On Zoom.


Story, choreography, and architecture take the spotlight in this program of films that explore themes, spaces, and narratives through dance. In times of isolation and uncertainty, these choreographic and spatial expressions of humanity and emotions are especially resonant. This program celebrates both Canadian and international screendance.

The Man Who Traveled Nowhere in Time

Dir. Vincent René-Lortie | Canada

Through the eyes of Eytan, a man who only exists in the dreams and unconscious minds of others, we question what is “real”, what isn’t, and how we each perceive time differently.


Dir. Antti Ahokoivu | Finland

Organic elements in a concrete world.

On My Skin

Dir. Eric Oberdorff | France

“Sur ma peau” is a photographs and dance film project made in prison. It is part of a choreographic and plastic arts workshops conducted with female inmates in the Prison of Nice.
The film and the photographs constitute the memory of the research process engaged with the prisoners to nourish the inside / outside dialogue. “Sur ma peau” is part of ‘TRACES’, creation cycle imagined by choreographer Eric Oberdorff which explores traces, memories, and their impacts on our identity and our path.

House of Joy

Dir. Robert Uehlin | United States

House of Joy was produced as a part of the 2018 Oregon Dance Film Commission. It was made in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Raven Jones of Woflbird Dance in Portland, Oregon. Shot entirely on Kodak Super 8mm film, the piece chronicles one person’s struggle to let go of what they thought life would be like.


Dir. Elias Djemil | Canada

A dance film about searching the light whithin.


Playing with light and shadows, this program of dance films foregrounds experimental visuals to explore emotions, space, and time. Here, the screen dances alongside the dancers, expressing its message through its form. These five films—including a diverse selection of Canadian and international voices—plunge us into a world of contrasts and extremes.


Dir. Angela Rosales Challi | United States

An animated Screendance that abstracts negative emotions that society has taught us to hide.

This project developed through dance and camera improvisation based on a poem. Stages explores anger, denial and depression that comes from betrayal. Chang Liu, a Chinese, queer, exceptional dancer, is able to explore those emotions with power and sensibility.


Dir. John Graham | Canada

UNFOLD is a poetic laboratory that visually symbolizes the unpredictable revealing of oneself to another in friendship.


Dir. Heather Frise | Canada

A short meditation on a mother trying to stay steady in an uncertain world.

time reversal symmetry

Dir. Evann Siebens | Canada

time reversal symmetry is part of LOoW – a collaboration between artists and scientists at TRIUMF: Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. Shot on 16mm film, Siebens uses pedestrian movement to represent the oscillating dance between matter and antimatter.

HOMO DEUS Slave to the Rhythm of Medicine

Dir. Wolfgang Schmiedt | Germany

There’s a certain feeling everybody shares: there are things we can find amazing, things for which we feel immensely grateful, but things with which we personally wish to have as little to do as possible: a PET-Scan, an ONCOR linear accelerator, a single-photon emission tomography scan, and even a simple dentist’s drill. None of these devices are silent – some even sending acoustic signals that evoke alarm bells when irregularities are detected. From the metallic and deafening noise of an MRT to the light hum of an infusion pump, we can’t help but listen and wonder what may become of us – existing between fear and the hope of being relieved, healed or even saved. Hearing the “soundtrack” of medical machinery leaves us feeling everything from uninterested to helplessly exposed and reliant.

2020 Partner and Sponsors

Thank you for making our festival possible!

Aaron Tucker

Scott-Grimes Sibling Duo

Silver Thorn Studios

Natalie Zara Belly Dance

Dance Umbrella Ontario

Karen Kim