A handful of organizations across the globe tap into the power of dance and movement to protect human rights and build more just societies.

Through dance they catalyze healing for survivors of trauma, promote free expression and confidence building for those who go unheard, raise awareness of gender-based violence and build transferable skills for attaining livelihoods and education.  

This life changing work is visceral, raw and engaging; we attempt to capture these qualities and share the stories of dance activists and change makers through a series of vivid dance-documentary films. 



The first film in the Free Body Project series of dance-documentary films, Move for Freedom was created as a statement of solidarity with the dancers, artists, empowerment facilitators and counter-trafficking advocates of the India-based non-profit, Kolkata Sanved


This film is our call to action. Recalling that moment of clarity when you become aware of an urgent social ill, the film explores the internal and external changes that occur when we open our eyes and choose action using the passions and skills at our disposal. 

Filmed in Portland, Oregon with 20 local dancers, the piece features choreography by instructor and choreographer, Tracey Durbin. The film is set to an original score composed by Elspeth Duncan which includes original poetry and voices of the dance activists of Kolkata Sanved. We are indebted to the dancers, 25 crew members, 118 Kickstarter backers and local businesses that supported the creation of this project. 

Co-Directed by Sydney Skov and Janique Robillard

Director of Photography - Paulius Kontijevas | Steadi-Cam Operator - Harrisen Howes | 1st AC - Eric Macey | 2nd AC - Austin Hobart | Production Designer & Projection Loop Editor - Rubina Martini | Art Assistant - Scott Braucht | Title Design & Animation - Kalina Torino | Edited by Janique Robillard and Jake Lyon |

Premiered at Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, 2015 featured in workshops at The Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City and Lines Ballet. 


Many thanks to our Portland sponsors : 

Dave's Killer BreaDFehrenbacher HofPorque No? TaqueriaPolaris Dance TheatreTracey DurbinElspeth Duncan

free body project


Profoundly inspiring dance therapy practitioners trained by the organization, Kolkata Sanved, move through their city of Kolkata, India, empowering some of the city’s most vulnerable populations -- adolescent survivors of human trafficking and violence -- through dance and movement.


Currently in post-production, the film captures stories of struggle, resilience, growth and perseverance intricately woven into choreography that evokes yet rejects the restrictions placed on women's bodies in Indian society, showing what it means to empower lives and advocate gracefully for justice and freedom.  

Kolkata Sanved is a non-profit organization using dance and dance movement therapy as psychosocial rehabilitation for survivors of sex trafficking and violence across India.  

We also worked with dancer, Matthew Bade of Skånes Dansteater, Sweden's largest independent dance company, who offered new insights into improvisational movement and generating unique choreography from themes and tasks.

Co-Directed by Sydney Skov and Janique Robillard

Director of Photography - Paulius Kontijevas


MANY THANKS TO our funders and supporters:

Everyone at Kolkata SanvedFulbright-Nehru FellowshipThe United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF)Matthew Bade, Skånes Dansteater, Dance Films Association

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.41.13 PM.png


Theatrical licensing available.

Please contact Sydney Skov via freebodyproject.org to coordinate screenings, movement workshops, and educational distribution. All rights reserved © Free Body Project, 2017





  • Identify and reach out to potential partners 
  • Raise capital for the project 
  • Conduct intensive, participatory workshops with partner organization staff, beneficiaries and dancers 
  • Through a series of choreographic workshops, generate the choreography to be used in the film
  • Film and move into post production of the piece 
  • Distribute the film through festivals, grassroots screenings, and workshops 


The films will be available to each partner organization, to be utilized in their ongoing fundraising efforts; we will help partners build communications strategies utilizing the film and other media. 

We will promote the organization through social networks to support visibility and sustainability. 

Each film and partner organization will be a special highlight in the next dance + social justice conference!