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The Samskara Screendance Project Features Eight Cultural Dances in Utah!

On the weekend of August 15th -18th eight different cultural dance artists were filmed performing in eight different locations throughout Utah. The project aims to represent a cross section of humanity throughout time and geography. Through Samskara viewers explore the realms of the past, present, and future as it is expressed through the human form and the tradition of dance. Angela Challis explains, "Samskara (Sanskrit) is the scope of experiences which we collect through our life journeys. This project celebrates humanity - our similarities and differences.” 

The Samskara Screendance Project was funded with generous grants from the Utah Film Commission Next Level Grant and from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums with the support of the Utah Dance Education Organization and special thanks to the BYU ARTS Partnership. 

The weekend began on a Thursday evening at the Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork where Jyosthna Sainath performed classical Indian Dance. Friday morning Joshua Perkins was filmed breaking at the HERC (Hip Hop Education Resource Center) in South Salt Lake. The beautiful 8-year-old Shyenne Utai was then filmed at the Little Dell Reservoir in the afternoon before we finished with filming Sebastian Forbes, a 16 year old Bolivian Dancer, out on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Saturday continued in a pasture in Farmington, UT where Presley Jewkes performed a clogging routine on a piece of plywood. Saturday concluded with Delfine Uwimbabazi, from Tanzania, performing on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. Sunday  Joseph Runs Through’s Native American dance was set in the red rocks near Cedar City, and the day ended with Mestre Jamaika’s acrobatic Capoeira on the sand dunes of the Little Sahara. There are plans to film a senior Japanese dancer from Logan in the coming weeks. 

The weekend was enjoyed by all who participated, the crew, the dancers, the producers, and the dancer’s families. Presley said about participating in the project, “It was a really neat experience! I loved it! I felt honored to represent clogging and everyone was so awesome to work with!” Shyenne also felt honored. “I felt incredible and I had so much fun!” Delfine exclaimed that it was the best experience of her life, and Sebastian kept thanking the crew for the opportunity to be a part of the film.

There will be a screening on November 19th, 2019 at the Marmalade Library located at  280 W 500 N, Salt Lake City, UT 84103. Following the screening will be a brief question and answer period with the dancers, director, and crew as well as refreshments. 

Follow the project on Facebook and Instagram @samskarascreendance for updates and behind the scenes photos and sneak peaks. 


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