Interview with Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen (OUT OF RUIN)

OUT OF RUIN played to rave reviews at the February 2021 Dance & Music Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

My and my Assoc Artistic Director’s primary motivation in making this film was to provide meaningful work for our dancers during the height of the pandemic, and to provide wonderful artistic content to our community, our audiences and our donors. We knew we would need to work outside and that there could be no audience. We have done lots of site specific work so working in amazing locations was not an issue. Film came to mind as the only vehicle to accomplish this goal. We had a wonderful relationship with Marta Renzi, the film maker. We contacted Marta, set about finding the locations, chose the theme, chose the music, created the choreography then Marta came and worked her cinematic magic.

From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

We thought of going to the film format in June. Went into rehearsal with dancers on location in July. 5 Weeks. We worked 3-5 days a week on the choreography and filmed all of the locations in 4 days. So 3 weeks of work on location and 3 days of filing. A couple of weeks of think time prior.

How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Finding Unity

What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Dealing with the weather in outdoor settings. Heat, sun, rain. Having to go inside to rehearse things that were meant to be rehearsed for stone walls or stone rooms or cliffs etc.

What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was mesmerized by the very thoughtful, insightful critiques. We loved that viewers understood what we were trying to say. We were very flattered by the comments about our beautiful dancers, the sites, choreography, costumes, music. It is really more than we could have hoped for.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

What are your passions in life?

Creating choreography that portrays the transformative power of dance.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Dutch films.

What is your favorite meal?

Really? Dancers don’t eat. LOL. Moules Frites

What is next for you? A new film?

We have already made a new film, “Through Her Eyes” . It has been picked up by RIPBS. We are thrilled. At the moment we are working on our live stream production of our March repertory and then hopefully a live performance in May and our Dance festival in July. Very big news? We are working on a project for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 that will take place in Matera, Italy. This is through the US Consulate. We learned today that PBS may be interested in doing a film about the making of this project. So YES!!!!! To film. We have so enjoyed this foray into a new medium.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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