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We live in a time where the rapid evolution and dissemination of new technologies is touching every aspect of our lives and culture.

Dancer on stage in front of screens

This is especially true in the art world, where the democratization of digital media — the ability of nearly anyone with heart, willpower and new ideas to gain access to powerful mediums for storytelling — is driving the emergence of new and breathtaking art forms. Such is the case with screendance, a hybrid art form merging dance and cinematography. Ana Baer Carrillo, associate professor in the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance, is a global leader of this growing field. She is a co-founder of Avant Media and WECreate Productions, artistic director of Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, as well as co-director of Merge Dance Company.

Ana Baer Carillo

"I craft dance and video with the purpose of expressing the inner condition of underrepresented communities — indigenous, subcultures, women and the abject poor being a few.”

Baer has a body of work in screendance going back more than a decade. In that time, she has worked and presented on four continents and has touched countless people with her work.  She has spent time in Germany, Mexico, France, the U.K. and Iceland, as well as Tennessee, Colorado, Michigan and Texas. She came to Texas State University looking for an opportunity to teach as well as continue to grow and develop as an artist. Texas State offered the unique privilege of continuing her art and travel while also allowing her to conduct research and train a new generation of world-class dancers, choreographers and filmmakers.

There are many benefits of the screendance medium to the artists involved. It allows worldwide access to their work that may be otherwise difficult to achieve, because it can be expensive and challenging to travel the world with a large troupe of dancers. Additionally, a skilled choreographer may be specially situated to take advantage of the medium because a filmmaker must have a strong sense of timing, flow and rhythm in order to be an effective storyteller.

Combining these skills has allowed Baer to place a razor-focus on groups and individuals whose stories are often overlooked. She explains: “As a video-choreographer, my philosophy is to provide a habitat for experimentation, creation and reflection. I craft dance and video with the purpose of expressing the inner condition of underrepresented communities — indigenous, subcultures, women and the abject poor being a few.”

Baer heavily involves students in her work — student dancers and filmmakers have opportunities to travel and learn from global leaders in their respective fields.

You can learn more about Baer and her work from her website: anabaer.com.

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