Submission Countdown: Dance

Themes of identity, herd mentality and indoctrination are laid bare in Erin S Murray’s stark yet emotionally stimulating experimental dance short Hydra.

Seeing the journey into womanhood through the eyes of a young girl, swept up by a troop of faceless women in a military formation who transform her into a woman. Murray uses striking imagery that summons thoughts of folklore and pageantry to depict the conformity that can be expected from becoming an adult, with abrupt, galvanised choreography that serves to externalise the protagonist’s inner conflict. 

Shot in monochrome, the contrast of the sweeping wilderness and the confined, unified organism made up of the women tied together with spools of fabric is startling and symbolic of the restrictions that expectation can enforce.

Murray is a director, choreographer and movement artist from Los Angeles who alongside her filmmaking has collaborated with music artists such as Charlie XCX, Muse and Foxygen, bringing her contemporary dance to life in rhythm with a myriad of different genres. She also lends her eye for movement to branded projects, and has worked with Lululemon and Vans.

Hydra enjoyed a worldwide tour with spots at San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Mexico City Video Dance Festival and Riff Festival Norway alongside Aesthetica Short Film Festival in the dance programme. 

This strand of the festival showcases the best examples of movement and performance combined, with powerful, kinetic interpretations of a vast number of themes from filmmakers and choreographers from across the world.

Submissions are now open for the 10th edition of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

BAFTA-qualifying ASFF 2020 takes place from 4 – 8 November with an unrivalled programme of short films and immersive media showcases, networking opportunities, career development initiatives and interactive talks, Q&As and workshops. Submit your work here.