In Awards and Achievements, Department of Dance, Faculty and Staff

Rachel Barker‘s dance film won the Alfred Lambourne prize for movement

BYU dance professor Rachel Barker has been awarded the Alfred Lambourne prize for her dance film titled, “Sand, Body, Sky.”

The award is connected to the Friends of Great Salt Lake organization. Participants are invited to submit art that is related to or inspired by the Great Salt Lake. Barker won the prize for the movement category. 

The film shows Barker dancing on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. Barker said it’s meant to express curiosity and playfulness as she uses her body to explore new spaces.

“When I visited this specific site with its sparse wood poles — a mysterious vestige of an earlier time — my desire to run, dance, and move within this endless sand vista was very strong,” Barker said in her description of the piece. “The huge expanse urged me to move large and free, while also investigating intricate details of the space and structures around me.”

Barker choreographed and starred in the film, but it was filmed and edited by BYU students. Dance major McCall McClellan was the videographer, and film student Kate McKellar edited the film.

“I had just agonized over every decision on an intense film project that lasted a year and a half. I wanted this project to be something that I give to the students to work on without having me hover over it so much,” Barker said. 

Barker and McClellan had worked together on dance films before. However, it was usually McClellan who was dancing and Barker who was behind the camera. 

“This project was a cool exploration of improvisational camera and dance work. It inspired me to see that you don’t always have to plan and that spur-of-the-moment decisions are beautiful and worth capturing,” McClellan said.

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