Dance Films

Standing on Gold: Simone Forti

Director & Editor: Eric Nordstrom

Created with financial support from the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Simone Forti’s work creates a direct line throughout postmodern dance, while providing a paradigm for dance making which counterpoints long-held approaches. Currently, in her eighties, Forti continues to perform improvised choreography in international settings, providing an opportunity to examine questions of “What is a dancer’s body?” “What is a dancer’s relationship to that body?” and “What can the somatic and improvised approach to composition contribute to the field of dance at this moment?”

My intention in making the film, Standing on Gold: Simone Forti,  is to educate: to help expose Simone Forti’s work and creative process to a new generation of dance artists and to the world at large. I was able to interview Simone at her home in LA, as well as attend and film a workshop she held in Portland in 2013, providing much of the content of this film, but it’s only a fraction of Simone’s story. The film discusses the workshop and how exercises for the workshop were developed. 

Simone’s work creates meaning by coming from a place of self-exploration—of being able to use your body as a research tool for creation. This is the lineage of the work I, myself, am  interested in. Simone provides an example of a long-developed career in this type of work and has become a role model to me for both working and living. Premier screening of Standing on Gold: Simone Forti, June 16, 2018 at Performance Works NW, Portland, OR.

Simone Forti in the News:
New York Times, February 8, 2023, Simone Forti’s Experiments Transcribing Bodies in Motion.

Artforum, February 09, 2023 at 2:06pm, Simone Forti Wins 2023 Golden Lion For Lifetime Achievement.

Artnet News,  September 19, 2018, How MoMA Rewrote the Rules to Collect Choreographer Simone Forti’s Convention-Defying ‘Dance Constructions’.

Portland Opera

Running a production company dedicated to providing local artists excellent video services, I specialize in filming and editing dance and theater to create promotional materials, archival materials, work samples, and fundraisers

Past video clients include Portland Opera, White Bird, BodyVox, Conduit Dance Inc., Tere Mathern Dance, Portland Taiko, Gracewood Studio, Reed College, Willamette University, Portland State University, and Portland Community College.

Reed College

Working with Reed College, I have edited the videos currently featured on the Dance Department's homepage. Additionally, I have worked with Reed Dance Department faculty member Carla Mann, as a videographer for her project Portraits

Dance for Camera - Portland Community College

Commissioned by Portland Community College, I worked with students, staff, and faculty to create a dance on film. This project includes directing a three-camera shoot, coordinating with a choreographer and lighting designer, and editing the final film. A documentary about the making of this dance on film was made by the PCC Sylvania Media Department as part of a wonderful collaboration with the Dance Program.

The "Dance for Camera" documentary, about the making of dance on film can be seen to the left. Directed and edited by Eric Nordstrom. Choreography by Heidi Dyer and performed by students at PCC Sylvania. 

Photo Basil Childers
Choreography Mary Oslund
Dancers Robyn Conroy Kautz and Daniel Addy

Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present 

Director & Editor: Eric Nordstrom
Assistant Editor: Hannah MacKenzie-Margulies
Music: Ben Martens

Created with financial support from the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Ronni Lacroute.

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: PORTLAND DANCE ARCHIVES: Full interviews and performance footage, featured in Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present, are available online through the Portland State University, Special Collections: Portland Dance Archives.

Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present, has been two years in the making. Having danced in Portland, Oregon for a decade—with Oslund+Co., Keith V. Goodman, Tere Mathern, Linda K. Johnson, and POV Dance, among others—I feel like, before this film project, my knowledge of local dance history was limited. As a city, Portland has recently seen a lot of new people with an interest in dance arrive here, and through their own practices, they are becoming a part of a rich genealogy of Portland dance. I wanted to make this film for the Portland dance community—the dancers, choreographers, technicians, critics, and audience members— as an invitation to connect with the past, and to invite relative newcomers to recognize and learn about this history of Portland dance and to honor those who built Portland’s contemporary dance scene.

In gathering the materials to make this film, I have worked in the archives at Reed College, Portland State University and the City of Portland, which both contain a trove of documents in the forms of photographs of past performances, press releases, course rosters, and other primary sources from when both colleges were central to the dance community in Portland, and participated in the shaping of Portland Dance. 

The most information has come from my one-on-one interviews with over thirty prominent figures from the history of contemporary dance in Portland. Many of the artists with whom I spoke had their own archives—old VHS tapes of their performances, often relegated to closets or basements. Part of the goal of this film is to take this material, preserve it, and to centralize it. This is one part of the film about which I am especially excited. 

With this film, my intention is to do three things:
1. Gather information about Portland dance history through these interviews and this archival footage.
2. Preserve this information by recording the interviews and converting artists’ VHS videos into a digital format.
3. Coordinate with the PSU to create the Portland State University, Special Collections: Portland Dance Archives to house footage of the seminal performances referenced in the film, and some of the interviews in their entirety. Available online at

I created Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present to explore my own lineage of dance in this city. This film is an effort to begin to capture and preserve our city’s rich history and to create a call for others to preserve their own lineage within their own performance practices. This film offers one window onto the rich history of dance in Portland. The voices in this film are just a few of the many who have contributed to this history. Thank you to everyone who offered their experiences and perspectives. 

Screenings of Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present
June 16, 2018 at Performance Works NW, Portland, OR: webpage
December 9, 2017 at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR: webpage
October 21, 2017 at Dance Studies Association, Columbus, OH (excerpt)
October 13, 2017 at Northwest Screendance Exposition, Eugene, OR
June 13, 2017 at Portland State University
May 21, 2017 at University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
April 6, 2017 at Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum
June 25, 2016 at Performance Works NW, Portland, OR: webpage

Press for Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present
April 03, 2017 Portland Tribune by Lyndsey Hewitt: MOVING HISTORY’ LOOKS AT DANCE IN PORTLAND

APRIL 5, 2017 Oregon ArtsWatch by Jamuna Chiarini: DanceWatch Weekly: Zipping through dance history