UW–Madison to host screendance practitioner, body-percussionist and lecturer Omari ‘Motion’ Carter for International Visiting Artist Program

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts welcomes Omari ‘Motion’ Carter to campus April 7–15, 2022 through the International Visiting Artist Program (IVAP). A collaboration between the Division of the Arts and the International Division, which funds the program, the International Visiting Artist Program supports short-term residences for international artists on campus.

Omari ‘Motion’ Carter is a screendance practitioner, lecturer and body percussionist based in London and, for the past decade, has been choreographing, teaching and performing for music videos, film, television and theatre. He is the Founder and Creative Director of The Motion Dance Collective and lecturer in Dance at London Contemporary Dance School. Omari’s practice is influenced by hip hop dance culture, screendance and body-percussion. The recipient of international awards for his work in screendance, Omari’s multi-faceted, dance-filmmaking experience results in the purposeful creation, presentation and education of narratives told through dance and the camera.

Omari’s residency will include participation as a presenter at State of the Art: the 2022 International Symposium on Screendance (April 10–13, 2022), a guest filmmaker at the Wisconsin Film Festival (April 7–14, 2022) and a teacher, leading workshops in professional development and exploring elements of dance “Animation” (a subgenre of Popping) and body percussion.


Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 5:15 p.m.
In Pursuit of Joy: A Screendance BBQ in Movers and Shakers, Wisconsin Film Festival
In Pursuit of Joy: A Screendance BBQ, a film by IVAP artist Omari ‘Motion’ Carter, will be presented
during the 24th annual Wisconsin Film Festival’s shorts block titled Movers and Shakers on Saturday,
April 9 at 5:15 p.m. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with attending filmmakers featured in the
block. Tickets may be purchased in advance or day-of.

Monday, April 11, 2022, at 12:30–2:10 p.m.
Workshop – “Urban Tones: Expanding Animations”
In “Urban Tones: Expanding Animations,” a workshop with IVAP artist Omari ‘Motion’ Carter,
participants will explore elements of the dance form “Animation” (a subgenre of Popping). From
Slow-Motion to Ticking, Gliding and isolations, this workshop will explore how these ways of moving can be expanded upon to develop narrative and character-driven dance performance. Going beyond
the technique, the session fuses pedestrian action, character work and animation dance conventions to
explore how these dances, influenced by animated stories on screen, can be the starting point for
telling stories for all styles of movement makers. “Urban Tones: Expanding Animations” takes place
during Dance 455 – Dance Composition III on Monday, April 11, 12:30–2:10 p.m. in 349 Lathrop Hall.
Open to students and International Symposium on Screendance attendees of all styles and abilities.
Shoes will be removed to participate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 3:30–5 p.m.
Workshop – “Body Percussion Possibilities” (UW students only)
In “Body Percussion Possibilities,” a workshop with IVAP artist Omari ‘Motion’ Carter, participants will
work with the rhythmic body. This session will introduce participants to the art of body percussion in an
aim to bridge the gap between dance and musical language. Participants will explore rhythmic
techniques from across the globe (Brazil, America, South Africa, UK), stimulating an awareness of the
body, control of movement and muscular strength, coordination and balance.
Exercises, warm ups and games will help improve concentration, perception and memory alongside
musicality, composition, listening and ensemble work. Participants will gain practical experience with
tools that inject an essence of hybridity, musicality and joy into their ongoing practice. The workshop
convenes during Dance/Theatre 259 – Collaborative Arts Performance Lab: Devising Collaborative
Performance Through Hip Hop Arts on Tuesday, April 12, 3:30–5 p.m. in 249 Lathrop Hall and is open
to UW students.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 11 a.m.
“What is Urban Dance on Screen” at the International Symposium on Screendance
Omari ‘Motion’ Carter, presents ”What is Urban Dance on Screen” on Wednesday, April 13 at 11 a.m. in
the Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall. In his presentation, Omari draws from his
postgraduate study which focused on dances within hip hop culture and their relationship to narrative.
Additionally, Omari will explore the label of “urban” within a screendance context. As a hip hop dance
culture aficionado studying under the roof of a contemporary dance school, Omari was concerned
about who his research was going to reach. If his research hopes to be an academic contribution to hip
hop culture, will any hip hop practitioners outside of academia actually read it?
Omari will screen his video essay created during his study at the world’s first Master’s Degree in
Screendance program. “What is Urban Dance on Screen” is a musical and spoken word provocation
that mixes video references with academic prose, resulting in a piece of academia that aims to bridge a
gap between the writers and the makers. Could the video essay format be further utilized to diversify
how we academize screendance practice in the future?

Omari ‘Motion’ Carter is a screendance practitioner, lecturer and body percussionist based in London
and, for the past decade, has been choreographing, teaching and performing for music videos, film,
television and theatre. A first-class BA (Hons) degree in Performing Arts at London Metropolitan
University led Omari to perform for 7 years (2011–2018) in the West End and international touring
productions of Stomp!. During this time, Omari choreographed, directed, performed and produced a
varied reel of dance-film work with screendance production company The Motion Dance Collective,
which he founded in 2011.

As a director, videographer and editor, Omari has created digital-dance and documentary content for
Breakin’ Convention Hip Hop Theatre Festival (UK), Parkinson’s UK, Dance Woking, DanceXchange,
South East Dance, Akademi (UK), Calmer UK, National Centre for Circus Arts, Jason Mabana Dance,
Pagrav Dance Company and Mouvement Perpétuel (Canada). As an independent choreographer and dancer, Omari has created works for Google, Britain’s Got Talent, Weetabix, Stanton Warriors, Greenpeace UK, Diabetes UK and ADAD (Association of Dance from the African Diaspora).

A graduate from the world’s first Master’s Degree in Screendance program at London Contemporary
Dance School (LCDS), Omari went on to become associate lecturer in screendance at the University of
East London, University of Lincoln and LCDS. Most recently Omari was co-curator of Akademi
Dance-Film Festival 2021, Digital Creative for Pavilion Dance South West, on the event programming
team for San Souci Festival of Dance Cinema (U.S.) and features twice in Vol. 12 of The International
Journal of Screendance, which was released earlier this year.

The Motion Dance Collective (The MDC) is an award-winning screendance production company
founded by Omari ‘Motion’ Carter in 2011. Since its beginnings, The MDC has gained worldwide
recognition as a production company that produces thought-provoking dance-films to tell relevant
stories through the hybrid practice that is screendance. With work screened across the UK and
internationally at over 60 film festivals, including Loikka Dance Film Festival (Helsinki, Finland),
Cinedans Dance on Screen festival (Amsterdam, Netherlands), British Urban Film Festival (London,
UK), Lightmoves Festival of Screendance (Limerick, Ireland) and the San Francisco Dance Film
Festival (U.S.), to name a few. The MDC’s purpose is to innovate the dance-film production process,
present audiences with thought-provoking dance-on-screen narratives and engage artists with playful
and educational digital-dance workshops. From concept through to delivery, we are UK’s leading
company that produces bespoke content for organizations and artists who have an interest in bridging
the gap between moving body and moving image.

The International Visiting Artist Program (IVAP) is a collaboration between the Division of the Arts
and the International Division, which funds the program. This partnership, launched in the fall of 2019,
supports short-term residences for international artists on campus. Through IVAP, the Division brings
visiting artists and their expertise into existing campus arts programs. Visiting artists expand students’
horizons and facilitate opportunities for future collaborations and careers abroad.
State of the Art: the 2022 International Symposium on Screendance (April 10–13, 2022), directed
by Professor Douglas Rosenberg, is presented by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Art Department
and the Dance Department. This symposium, held at the UW–Madison, creates a forum for discussion,
reflection, and aspirational, futurist and intentional thinking about the future of the field of screendance.
This year’s symposium also serves as a bridge between newer generations of practitioners and
thinkers in the field, and the elders still active in whom much of the historic and institutional memory of
the earlier days of screendance resides. Timely topics such as the Feminist roots of screendance, the
generational and evolving critical landscape of the field, de-colonizing screendance, race and gender in
screendance, intersectionality and facilitating new ways of knowing the cinematic body and mapping
the literature of the field will be explored. The symposium is generously supported by the Virginia Horne
Henry Fund.

The 24th annual Wisconsin Film Festival, presented by the University of Wisconsin–
Department of Communication Arts, is April 7–14, 2022. Founded in 1999, the Wisconsin Film Festival
presents an average of 150 film screenings over 8 days every spring. The Festival is known for its
diverse film offerings. Categories include American independent, international cinema and
documentaries. We also screen experimental and avant-garde, and restored classics. The Wisconsin’s
Own section of the Festival features Wisconsin filmmakers, themes or settings. Big Screens, Little Folks
features specially curated full-length and short films for young people that will inspire and delight. We
strive to make films screened during the Festival accessible for all audiences.