Sea Without Shore – a love story in extreme conditions
Dance film shot in rural Sweden tells the story of the love of two women
A lot of things can happen between rehearsal studio and final performance, as Brazilian choreographer and co-director Fernanda Lippi discovered when working on her new film with André Semenza, Sea Without Shore.
After creating the movement in advance of shooting, their arrival in rural Sweden prompted a rethink. ‘When we got to the location, the impact on the choreography was dramatic,’ she recalls. ‘Sweden’s breathtaking winter landscape with extremely low temperatures and fleeting daylight immediately made us forget about the comfort zone of the rehearsal room.’
Set in the 19th century, the film tells the tale of two women whose love affair is cut brutally short. Inspired by the work of 16th-century lesbian poet Katherine Philips, among other literature, the film features a stream-of-consciousness narration.
Although for Lippi, who also stars in the film, the intense atmosphere was just as influential. ‘Being exposed to bone-chilling temperatures for ten hours a day and breathing cold air caused our bodies to go into a state of extremis,’ she says. ‘As we embraced these conditions, a new structure for the film appeared. An enigmatic relationship between two women materialised – an exploration of love and loss.’
Glasgow Film Theatre, Sat 28 Feb; also Barbican, London Thu 5 Mar; The ICA, London Tue 10 Mar; Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, London on Thu 19 Mar and Genesis Cinema, London on Thu 2 Apr.