The women with a vision for contemporary videodance

The festivals - Trinidad’s COCO Dance Festival, and the USA’s Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, are collaborating to present the inaugural COCO Video – a weekend of dance cinema, supported by workshops for filmmakers, videographers and choreographers – that celebrate the passion of dance and the intimacy of film. And they are offering something for everyone. There will be films and workshops for all ages, encouraging choreographers to enter the world of filmmaking, filmmakers to discover and build the skills involved in capturing the rich world of dance and the audience to experience the marriage of the two.

The COCO Dance Festival is an annual festival of contemporary dance and choreography that seeks to provide talented local choreographers with a platform for experimental and cutting edge choreography. COCO also provides a space for dancers to showcase their post-modern forms of dance and innovative mosaics of body motion. The Collective was founded by Sonja Dumas, Dave Williams, Nancy Herrera and Nicole Wesley in 2009 and serves as the premier festival for contemporary dance in the country and the largest contemporary dance festival in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Dumas is well known in the local dance world having been a dancer and choreographer for over 30 years. Dancing since age five, she was born in Port-of-Spain, but spent most of her formative years between East Africa and the United States, where she attended Princeton University and Columbia Business School but remained tied to dance and the arts. Dumas has been involved in curating, arts education and production, and currently runs the Continuum Dance Company with friends Joanna Charles-Francis and Luana Martin to explore the Caribbean aesthetic.

Also an avid filmmaker, Dumas has written, directed and produced films about aspects of Trinidad and Tobago’s dance history and was joint winner of this year’s trinidad+tobago’s Caribbean Film Mart Best Project Award. Her films include the documentary, Julia and Joyce: Two Stories of Two Dance Pioneers (winner of the Best Local Film at the 2010 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival), and the comedy Tickle Me Rich (2014 Africa Movie Academy Award nominee).

Ana Baer is a Mexican video-choreographer/ screendance choreographer, living in the USA. She teaches dance for the camera workshops and is a founding member and creative director of the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema. She arrives in Trinidad next week to conduct film production workshops that should be of interest to filmmakers who incorporate dance into their films and videographers who shoot music videos that incorporate dance. Baer will demonstrate and have hands on exercises for all levels, so everyone is invited, including children.

Described by Dance Magazine as “one of the most innovative multimedia choreographers living in Boulder” Baer has been internationally active as a choreographer, dancer, and video-artist since 1992.

In a 2015 interview with The International Journal of Screendance, Baer said: “When I moved to the States, it was very important for me to talk about my nationality, my upbringing and my culture. I created political work…. Common themes ... included poverty, injustice …., I created pieces about murders in border towns, tortured women and kids that lived in the streets among other topics. I was intrigued by the similarities and differences between Mexico and USA, but at some point the line started to blur, and political issues were not as essential to my creative work.

She started her Master’s Degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and was invited to take experimental film classes, where she started exploring the intersection between choreography and video.

Learning there about videodance, she was excited about the potential reach and accessibility of the medium. “We are a YouTube/Vimeo generation and young people are familiar with the genre. Currently, screendance is a fertile field, it is interesting for them, because it is technology, and they know and use technology, they know videos and they can access them all the time.”

COCO Video workshops with Ana Baer take place on 22 and 23 October, 10am at the Little Carib Theatre in Woodbrook. Participants are asked to come early on the day to register. Space is limited and available on a first come basis.

For further information on the COCO Dance Festival visit, follow the Festival on Instagram @coco_dance_festival or email

For a taste of what’s to come visit


"The women with a vision for contemporary videodance"

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