The University of Arizona School of Dance is proud to showcase the talent of our student, Sasha Reist (she/they), and their latest film, “Changement”. The film explores the experiences of two dancers, Cat Cogliandro (they/them) and Madelyn Lever (she/her), and sheds light on the issue of gender representation in ballet.
Sasha Reist, a senior completing a BFA in Dance and a BA in Film & Television with a minor in Chinese, brings her unique perspective as a queer woman to the project. As she says, “I am constantly trying to find ways to advocate for gay rights and change people’s perspective on love, gender, and their expectations for how people should exist in society.”
The short documentary film debuted at What’s Up Docs, the School of Theatre, Film & Television’s annual showcase of documentaries created in Professor Jacob
Bricca’s Documentary Production class, Reist showcases the challenges that non–binary individuals and queer women face in the dance community. Ballet has been a traditional art form for centuries, but it is still dominated by heteronormative, cisgendered practices and labels. “Changement” aims to open up the discussion around more inclusive and welcoming language, stories, and narratives within the ballet world.
“Changement” has received numerous awards and drawn industry attention through a strategy developed by the School of Theatre, Film & Television. The film has been recognized as a semi–finalist at the Rhode Island Flickers International Film Festival and was nominated for a 2022 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Student Production Award. It has been officially selected for three film festivals: the Loft Film Festival, the Social Impact Film Festival, and the Academy Award–qualifying Leeds International Film Festival
Sasha Reist’s “Changement” is a testament to the University of Arizona School of Dance’s commitment to fostering creativity and inclusivity. We are proud to support our students in their endeavors to create meaningful works of art that spark important conversations. We encourage everyone to watch “Changement” and join the conversation around gender representation in the arts.
Story by Nathaniel Urie