Judging dance videos


By Simo Heiskanen

I was very curious to see the 30 competitors the pre-selection jury had chosen in this competition of a very difficult format. In 60 seconds you have to catch the viewer’s attention and build up some kind of dramaturgy with dance and movement in picture, music, visual and sound design, storytelling, photographing, cutting, etc. Quite a challenge! I did not beforehand decide any principals I would stick to when watching these films. I wanted to trust my intuition - how the film would arouse my interest, no matter what dance style or film technique would be used.

I found out that the participants had accomplished a lot! I was once again surprised how quickly a good work of art catches your attention and on the other hand how fast you get bored and even irritated while watching a work that hasn’t found it’s character, it’s inner soul. Some movies in this competition were very beautiful and in high level technically but didn’t have anything to say. I felt that there was no communication with the viewer under the sweet surface. As a jury member I felt that I was obliged to listen to my intuition, my very subjective opinions and of course I had to be able to describe why some movies irritated me or didn’t have any affect at all. Most of my favourite works are among these 10 competitors our jury choose.


Technique and Idea

The overall technical level in the competition was very high. In some movies there was a clever visual idea that was executed in a very high technical standard but unfortunately dance, movement and storytelling didn’t achieve the same level. The best movies were made technically skilfully and above all had an idea that went through the whole movie and all the chosen means were serving this clear idea. I was amazed how much you can tell in one minute and convey so many enjoyable qualities and sensations.

I want to thank all participants for sending their works to 60secondsdance. I felt humbled watching all the skills and effort needed to make these films. I hope you all continue your important work in the field of dance film! S.H.


Simo Heiskanen is a choreographer and dance artist and was the member of the Finnish 60secondsdance jury in 2015.