UA professor's dance celebrated at film festival


The San Francisco Dance Film Festival selects 25 films to showcase each year. They receive submissions from all over the world, and this year, one of the chosen dance films hails from the University of Alabama.

Assistant Director of Dance Sarah Barry received the notification last month that her film “There, Again” had made it into the festival.

“It was very exciting to be accepted to be in the festival, which is quite prestigious,” Barry said. “To be one in 25 is quite an honor.”

The piece she submitted was a film adaptation of the original stage performance of her piece “There, Again,” which was shown in ADRT in the fall of 2010. Almost immediately afterward, Barry began to draft an idea of how to translate the performance from on the stage to the camera. She gathered a team of dancers, videographers and other consultants to help her with the transition.

Barry and her team dedicated roughly a year and a half to complete the film adaptation of the performance. They followed up the initial filming process with another eight months of editing. The filming, Barry said, was her favorite part.

“One of the most interesting parts for me was deciding how to film it. Playing with different angles and being right up close,” Barry said.

A lot of time also went into the elaborate set. It is composed of one piece featuring four interconnected grey rooms. There are two rooms on top and two on bottom with a single dancer placed inside each.

Barry said the overall theme is confinement, but she leaves the interpretation of that confinement up to each individual viewer.

“I think people have different takes on what it is after they’ve seen it,” Barry said. “But I think it could sort of be how sometimes we think that we’re stuck, but it ends up just being us. And we were just sort of playing with that metaphor, but then also making it more real by putting them in these rooms that they had to move around in.”

Each dancer is not tied to their individual room. Throughout the piece, they travel from room to room, exploring their limits. These transitions were done via trap doors, which were built into the set itself.

“They would pass through the rooms through the doors. That kind of continued the metaphor that sometimes we think it’s where we are, why we’re stuck, and we try to move somewhere else or we do something else. But it still is us no matter where you go,” Barry said.

Barry’s film will be shown in the screen dance shorts category on the second day of the festival. The festival will be held on March 15-18 in San Francisco. Barry plans to attend.

“I’m very excited to see the other films. Getting to see what other people are doing is always exciting. In general, when you’re at a university, it’s like this is your world, and it’s great to get out and see what everyone else is doing,” Barry said.

The stage performance version of Barry’s film can be viewed on her website, For more information about the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and Barry’s entry, visit

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