Susan Braun Award

Folies d'Espagnes

Named after Susan Braun, the founder of DFA, this award was designed in 2007 as support for emerging New York City choreographers to create a dance film. The winning team of choreographer and filmmaker won a cash award and the help of  mentors to create a short work and/or adapt a stage choreography for the camera. The first Susan Braun awards were awarded to Austin McCormick in 2007 and Michelle Mola in 2008. In 2009 the Susan Braun Award took a new form: WHAT MOVES YOU/48 Hour Challenge as initiated by dancer/filmmaker Celia Rowlson-Hall, and sponsored by DFA, and Tendu.tv. Every day, the media bombards us with information on everything from shoe sales to the latest in the economic crisis, obituaries, weddings, “green” innovations, stock tips. The project asked the participants to create a dance film inspired by the news  in 48 hours. Designed as DFA’s 2009 Choreographers Initiative, this challenge set time and cost at a minimum to encourage everyone to collaborate and experiment.  Creativity rather than budget was most important! Awards given in three categories: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT IS (2009 Gold Award) by David Fishel. Subject: “Cronkite Dead at 92” as announced in  the New York Post. The most trusted man in America dies, ending an era of “trust” in the United States. This video explores the ramifications of this legend’s passing and the symbolic gesture which ends a news media era.  Video DAYLIGHTING (2009 Silver Award) by Alex Springer, Xan and Ian Burley. Subject: The uncovering of streams buried under layers of pavement creates green corridors and cuts down on pollution in cities plagued by traffic. The Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul was covered by a road and is once again revealed as a green corridor in the midst of a city in need of fresh, natural surroundings. We were inspired to create a video exploring the contrast of these two places, the river and the road. Each serve vital functions including travel, as aesthetic, and as landmarks. One dancer’s home is the road, the other’s is the river. But who is to say they cannot co-exist and converge? Video. GAFFE (2009 Bronze Award) by Marisa C. Hayes & Franck Boulègue.  Subject: The 40th anniversary of man’s walk on the moon and NASA’s failure to conserve the footage that documented this monumental event. Hollywood recently came to the rescue, lending a hand in digitally restoring footage from copies that turned up around the world. Now viewers can see better than ever Armstrong’s historic “giant leap for mankind. Gaffe explores ideas related to the philosophy of error and how modern technology visually informs and reconstructs, allowing viewers to perceive historical and current events in different lights. These ideas question the nature of reality and manipulation, but also the impact of contemporary aesthetics and artistic practices. Video. RELEASE (2009 Bronze Award) by Brea Cali.  Subject: The current economic downturn pushes the media to cover stories of obstruction and deterrence. However, we must be reminded that we are a nation of entrepreneurs and today’s successful businesses began during yesterday’s turmoil. The ability to create constantly exists; it is up to us to turn obstacle into opportunity. Video