This short film, a collaborative artistic effort between choreographer, dancer and the camera lens, provides a glimpse into the movements available through dance to physically depict the art of giving. By keeping the dancer’s identity anonymous and shooting primarily the shadows of gestures that emote abundance and big-heartedness, we are reminded of the often subliminal ways in which our bodies feel and impart gentle gifts.
Darha Phillpot is a Yellowknife-based choreographer and dancer with a passion for all forms of physical expression. Darha’s work draws on modern contemporary traditions, improvisation and physical theatre. A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s School for Contemporary Arts, she enjoys the opportunities for collaboration within Yellowknife’s vibrant artistic community. This is her first exploration of dance through film.
France Benoit is a Yellowknife film director who feels more comfortable giving than receiving. The Art of Giving Project started with a short film about volunteers offering footbaths to the homeless (Hand to Toe, Hot Docs 2011). The idea to bring more acts of giving to light took hold, growing to 17 films – including the NFB short Farewell Touch – as well as original works by other Yellowknife artists. Her past documentaries, in both French and English, have strong themes of social justice and environmental awareness. She and her husband try to live as sustainably as possible in the boreal forest outside of Yellowknife: pumping their water from the lake, heating their home with wood, growing as much food as the cold weather allows, and drawing energy from the sun.
Gary Milligan has been a Yellowknife resident since 1957. He began his professional career in film and video production in 1979, after graduating from the Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver. “Itʼs my passion.” he says. “As long as my eyes continue to see, my ears continue to hear, and my hands are able to operate cameras and computers, Iʼll continue as best I can to help other people share their stories and visions.”