“Coffee literally changes the way we see, think, and interact with other people. BUT FIRST is our way of exploring this through two of our favorite mediums, film and dance.”
– Erin Brown Thomas (director), Mike Esperanza (choreographer)

BUT FIRST was made as part of San Francisco Dance Film Festival’s annual Co-Laboratory program in collaboration with the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron’s Dancing Laboratories. A filmmaker and choreographer are paired together for one week to make a short dance film.

Directed by Erin Brown Thomas

Choreographed by Mike Esperanza

Featuring Tiffanie Carson, Erin Love, Sarah Housepan

Creative Producer / Co-Producer: Lindsay Gauthier

Co-Producer: Christy Bolingbroke

Director of Photography: Tyler Clark

Production and Costume Designer: Inda Blatch- Geib

Editor: Erin Brown Thomas
Sound Design: Mike Esperanza

Line Producer: Dave Hayward of Red Point Digital

2018 Co-Laboratory with NCCAkron

In its sixth year, the Co-Laboratory went National!

Dance Film SF partnered with the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron in Ohio to bring filmmakers and choreographers together from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

In Akron, the artists participated in a nine day Dancing Lab: Screendance residency, with three days of Workshopping and Pre-production, three days of Production, and three days of Post-Production. Both teams came away with a finished dance film that screened at the 2018 Festival. NCCAkron was excited to be co-producing with us as part of their process oriented approach to advance dance and choreographic craft.

Time out of Time: A Special Place – Official Trailer [HD]

“Time out of Time: A Special Place” as a dance piece in progress produced by Amman based dance company Studio 8 in collaboration with artist duet of French sound artist François Donato and French/Iranian visual artist Golnaz Behrouznia. The in-progress result is a trans-disciplinary live performance which was presented to the audience of Jordan at 25th of August, 2019 as part of INTERNATIONAL DANCE ENCOUNTER AMMAN(IDEA) festival.

Director/Choreographer: Abd Al Hadi Abunahleh
Assistant Director: Xiaoman Ren
Dance: Emran Alamareen, Daniel Issa, Nadeen Dabass, Kate Port, Ziad Hajir, Anas Nahleh, Oliveira Jara
Visual Arts: Golnaz Behrouznia
Sound Designer: Francois Donato
Trailer Video Edit: Golnaz Behrouznia
Trailer Sound Design: Francois Donato
Trailer Video-graphy: Mohammad Ali

Choreographic Process: July 4

Choreographer: Abd Al Hadi Abunahleh

  • Location: Studio 8, Amman, Jordan
  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • Starting: 20:10 pm
  • Ending: 21:30 pm

Dance and Mathematics, while displaying many degrees of separation today, were both founded as ways of explaining and creating dialogue with the natural world.

Mathematics is present in dance.

If mathematics is a study of pattern, then dance choreography can be described using mathematics.

Geometry is perhaps the most apparent subfield of mathematics present in dance. Each dance has its own characteristic way of applying mathematical concepts.

Mathematics originated from the desire to use concrete relationships to better describe and explain the natural world. Modern clock time originated from the mathematical investigations into the relationship between the Earth and the Sun while the modern Gregorian calendar was derived from the relationship between the Earth and the Moon.

The relationship of the highly subjective field of dance and the pragmatic field of mathematics has not yet fully been explored.

Geometry’s inherent connection to the moving body has also been studied by several dance and design scholars. Most important among them are two German artists: Oskar Schlemmer, a Bauhaus influenced choreographer, artist, architect and costume designer, and Rudolph von Laban, founder of the most widely used notation system in dance: Laban Movement Analysis – a system of documenting a dance with symbols or descriptions based on the dance’s effort, time and space. Schlemmer and Laban both kept geometric ideas, and Platonic solids in particular, at the core of their movement and design philosophies.

Geometry and dance are fundamentally connected.