Upcoming Virtual Dance Performance: Haunted Film Festival

Photo Courtesy of Kristine Calder
One group of dancers filmed at a cemetery, adding a very spooky feel to their performance. Kristine Calder, dance teacher, worked to ensure dancers were able to see their visions come to life.

Nikki Iyer, Feature Editor

Due to the inability to hold a live performances because of COVID-19, dance teacher, Kristine Calder and her students are putting on the Haunted Dance Film Festival tonight.

The show fundamentally changes the way dancers put on a performance.

Small groups have been organized in beginner-intermediate, intermediate, and advanced dance to choreograph their own 2-3 minute dances. These performances will exhibit the film’s overarching theme, in accordance to the recent holiday, Halloween.

Calder was inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video, and used his video as a foundation for her dancer’s videos.

“I was looking for something creative that’s a different experience from performing on stage, I was thinking about what could we do that was still going to be fun, engaging, keep us all excited and motivated to work,” said Calder.

Recently, the dancers finished up filming with a professional crew, Gravity Red Productions. The videos are currently going through rounds of edits to prepare for the big premiere on November 20th.

I just want it to be successful. I want people to come support our program even though it’s not a live show… I know what a big deal the shows are to our students, families and our programs, so I still want to make it special… I want everyone to still have a good memory of the movie.”

— Calder

Some groups filmed their dances in very creative locations. Calder said one group filmed in a cemetery that opened in the 1800s, another filmed in a vintage themed house in Los Angeles, and one was in a warehouse. 

These sites were not easy to secure, but Calder wanted to make sure the dancers were able to see their performances come to life. Originally, these routines weren’t going to be filmed outside of the school, but the projects quickly evolved into something much bigger.

After paying for the film crew, renting different locations, costumes, and more, the dance organization has spent about $15,000 on this project.

“As usual, my brain always goes to the big idea, so the project got bigger and bigger,” said Calder.

While this is not the traditional way to put on a performance, Calder hopes her dancers still had a good time making these videos, and will enjoy the movie. 

“I just want it to be successful. I want people to come support our program even though it’s not a live show… I know what a big deal the shows are to our students, families and our programs, so I still want to make it special… I want everyone to still have a good memory of the movie.”

To support the SJHHS dance program on November 20th, purchase tickets at EventBrite for $10 each. The show starts at 7 p.m., and will be held virtually.