Nadine Asswad





(Concordia University, Montréal, Québec/Canada)


After completing a B.A. in Literary Studies at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal), I turned to video production projects. For two years, I worked in the three spheres of video production and became familiar with the video production process. I became involved in various technical and coordinating positions such as assistant producer, assistant director and assistant editor. I also edited small projects and directed a personal documentary. However, so busy with the coordinating and technicality of productions I found that I was missing the conceptual aspect of film creation. Therefore I decided to apply to the MA in Film Studies at Concordia.

During the coursework period of the MA, I met Dr. Erin Manning who introduced me to philosophy. With her I discovered an innovative approach that rethinks art, research and creation. Having focused mainly on semiotics and psychoanalysis during my B.A., I found this theoretical approach that, instead of separating research from creation, encourages intrinsic connections between them.

Our common passion for dance brought Dr. Manning and I to work together. I¹m not a professional dancer, but dance became a passion for the past 5 years. My actual training is ballet and contemporary dance. I consider that my position ­ as someone who dances regularly but not intensively like professionals ­ is somehow an interesting position to conceptualize the dancing body in movement.

My thesis concerns the intersection of movement in dance and cinema. I conceptualize dance movements as virtual, something always in the becoming. I perceive movements in dance happening before language. Dance conveys affects rather than emotions or meanings; therefore, the qualitative virtuality of movements shifts the perception of the dancer¹s body to the incorporeality. Subsequently, the conjunction of dance movements and the moving pictures becomes something more than only the representation of dance on screen. Thinking of movements abstractly but concretely opens the dancing body to a multiplicity of image¹s perceptions, which becomes a creative challenge.

This year, I will also make a film to test ideas developed in my thesis. In this film, nine dancers will experiment dance movements and I will ask the question: When and how movement becomes dance? I think this will be a good transition to embark on my new research for the PhD.