photo by Robbie Bryant

photo by Robbie Bryant

about monica

Monica is a filmmaker and choreographer.  Her film works have appeared in film festivals nationally and internationally, showing in: Chicago Feminist Film Festival, Speechless Film Festival, ScreenDance Festival Stockholm, Dance Camera West in LA, Aesthetica Short Film Festival in the UK, Barcelona Independent Film Festival, Brussels Independent Film Festival, et al. Recently, her music video “The Wayward Wind” co-directed with Steve Delahoyde was a Vimeo Staff Pick, and her film Bound was featured on NOWNESS.com.

She is a co-producer of Mana Contemporary’s Body + Camera Film Festival with Chicago Dancemakers Forum. In 2017 she was a resident artist at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for their Performance Lab program where she created site-specific dance films. She received Mordine & Company's Choreographic Mentorship in 2013. In 2010, she was a High Concept Laboratories Sponsored Artist. She danced as a company member with dance companies Winifred Haun and Dancers, Mordine & Company, and Striding Lion Performance Group. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in dance.


artist statement

As a dance filmmaker, I interweave cinema and choreography.  Film and dance share two important fundamentals:  Space and Time.  In my work, I search for the natural overlap of the two art forms.  I believe that through their thoughtful combination, each medium can be pushed into new territory.  

 

As a choreographer first, I have a fresh perspective for dance film.  I draw on my dance background to experiment with filmmaking conventions.  I look for novel ways to depict the moving body in film that would not be possible in live dance performance.  I push beyond typical approaches to create dance film that is more than mere documentary.

 

Choreographically, I create contemporary dance that follows a postmodern tradition.  I enjoy contrasting pedestrian gestures with expansive movement exploring the weighted body.   With dance film, I am able to choreograph both the movement of the dancers and the movement of the camera to enhance the performance. Based on the goals of the piece, I experiment with the angle, framing, and point of view of the camera to heighten the piece’s themes.

 

My work in more than merely recording dance on film.  My ultimate objective is to create striking, evocative imagery with layered meanings.  For each film, no matter its individual theme, I strive to make work that is potent and affecting, posing multiple questions rather than providing a single answer.

 



E-mail me at monica.alicia.thomas@gmail.com or use the form below.

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Monica's choreographic project is a Fractured Atlas Sponsored Project. Click below to support montom arts!