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Episode 88 | Fear, Cognitive Trance, & Dance Filmmaking w/ Sebastian De Buyl

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

On this episode, Dance Behind the Screen podcast co-host Martheya interviews filmmaker Sebastian De Buyl about his dance film “Spectre.” This film was awarded the #NBFFVisionary by the kNOwBOX dance Film Festival 2020 Jury Panel. Sebastian shares what it’s like to find creativity through fear, his experiences with cognitive trance, and his process of working with dance and film. Enjoy this episode that digs deep into the animist mindset of creating. (43:29)


[1:15] The Team says welcome back and introduces Sebastian De Buyl. Sebastian was the #NBFF Visionary award recipient for the 2020 kNOwBOX Film Festival for his film Spectre.


[4:17] Topic: Fear Can Drive Creativity

  • [4:17] Martheya asks: “Can you talk a little bit about your why? What drives your creativity?”

  • [5:10] Martheya asks: “What were you afraid of in terms of working with dance? Was it the unknown form?”

  • [5:48] Martheya asks: “How do you think fear connects to your style or your artistic aesthetic?”

  • [7:54] Martheya asks: “How did you arrive or come to this way of connecting to the world and thinking about humanity and the art in this way?”

  • [9:28] Martheya asks: “For our listeners who aren’t familiar, can you explain what an animist is?”

[11:35] Topic: The Making of the Dance Film “Spectre”

  • [11:36] Martheya asks: “Could you walk us step by step through the making of that film [Spectre]?”

  • [13:49] Martheya asks: “What is cognitive trance in your practice, in relation to this film? And for our audience who does not know, what does cognitive trance look like or what does it mean?”

  • [18:23] Martheya asks: “How did you work with dancers? Did you have an audition? How did you come into relationship with those three dancers and what also in Spectre made you want to work with your solo body?”

  • [19:52] Martheya asks: “What were those questions [underlying aspects in the body]?”

  • [22:41] Martheya asks: “What were your strategies to create spaces where the performers felt comfortable to talk about these questions with you and share the problem solving with a larger audience for the film?

[25:17] Topic: How Can You Frame the Audience

  • [25:17] Martheya asks: “I am curious how you think about the audience in your work?”

  • [27:35] Martheya asks: “Can you give an example from your film or from maybe a popular film that somebody might recognize that does that?”

  • [32:01] Martheya asks: “Could you give examples in some things you look for in dance film festivals that could be helpful for our audience?”

  • [38:26] Martheya asks: “What are your hopes for the film world at large?

[35:55] Martheya asks:

1- If you had to recommend a resource to our audience what would it be?

  • Film- Before We Go by Jorge Léon

[37:00] Martheya asks:

2- What was the first dance you saw?

  • Film- Species

[37:40] Martheya asks:

3- Do you think social media has a positive influence on the dance world (yes or no)?

  • No

[37:50] Martheya asks:

4- What is your favorite social media platform?

  • I have none.

Recommended Resources

Connect with Sebastien De Buyl


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