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Dir: Celeste Oram and Efim Bychkunov, 12 mins 47 secs, 2013, New Zealand, WORLD PREMIERE

Screening with Motion Sickness in the DANCE:FILM Bites programme

Two figures and a cello take to a stage without an audience. They play out a pas-de-trois which restlessly see-saws between extremes of intimacy and violence.

Cross showcases a close collaboration between music, dance, and cinematography, where each element is variously puppeteered by the others. The film's soundtrack, an original score for solo cello, is performed live on the set, but both cellist and cello join the dancer and camera as all four perform an intricate and theatrical choreography which acts out relationships of both dependence and antagonism.

The film is the result of collaboration between New Zealand composer Celeste Oram, choreographer Efim Bychkunov, and filmmakers Ben and Mikayla Journée, featuring performances by Bychkunov and cellist Robert Drage.


Celeste Oram: Collaborating Director, Original Music/Composer

Celeste Oram was born in Manhattan, grew up in London, and has lived in Auckland, New Zealand, since the age of seven. As a composer, performer, and director, Celeste seeks out places where diverse performing arts disciplines collide. Recent composition commissions and performances include works for the Song Company in Sydney, Australia, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, as the orchestra's 2013 Young Composer-in-Residence. Her compositions have also been performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and contemporary music ensembles the Intrepid Music Project and Three Shades Black, as well as being broadcast nationally in New Zealand. In May 2011, her chamber opera The Electrical Eclipse, with libretto by Claire Bracegirdle, was premiered in Auckland, New Zealand.

Celeste has a particular interest in composing for theatre, and has scored songs and incidental music for productions ranging from Euripidean tragicomedy, to German-language theatre, and to various Shakespeare plays. In 2013 she graduated with a BMus(Hons) BA with first class honours from the University of Auckland, majoring in composition, musicology, German and drama. 


Efim Bychkunov: Collaborating Director, Dancer
Efim holds a PGDipCPA from Auckland University and is currently studying towards a Master of Creative and Performing Arts. He started dancing from an early age and nearing his university study became interested in physical theatre and contemporary dance.  In 2012, he was involved in producing a theatre project "En Route". Efim has experience working as a choreographer and graphic designer. 




Ben Journée is the director of video production company Side Project, and has been filming dance since 2010. Coming from a dance background, Ben’s approach to filming movement is innovative and fresh, always focussing on enhancing movement through choreography of the camera. Ben has worked closely on film projects with the hip hop dance companies Sound Vision, Prestige and The Royal Family; he also has experience filming dance shows, most notably Out of the Box, part of Auckland’s 2012 Dance Festival. In 2012 he collaboratively wrote, produced and filmed the dance film What was Lost. Ben has an art and design background, and was artistic designer for the film company Waihi Media.


Mikayla Journée recently completed her Masters degree in Art History at the University of Auckland, focussing on contemporary artists, themes and media. She studied theatre and film as part of her undergraduate studies. Combining her love of the visual arts with her writing, theatre and dance background has lead to her involvement in film, particularly dance film projects. She collaboratively wrote, designed and produced the film What Was Lost with Side Project’s director, Ben Journee, in 2012. Also in 2012 she was location manager for Waihi Media’s short film Pretending to Forget, and in 2011 was casting director the same company’s film entitled Kin. 


About us

DANCE:FILM is Scotland's premier dance film festival in the beautiful capital city of Edinburgh. It is organised by Dance Film HQ Ltd a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in Scotland, SC401538 *the company ceased trading in Feb 2014 and was unregistered in May 2014*

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