A KIND OF PILGRIMAGE follows the life of Fleet Moves, an experimental dance festival held in the small beach town of Wellfleet, Cape Cod between the years of 2012 and 2017. Originally founded as an opportunity to develop and present site specific work, the festival evolved over the course of its five years to become a much larger experiment in what it means to dance with a place, to make art that is in conversation with the community it finds itself within. Following artists from many different backgrounds including ballet, contemporary, and theater forms, A KIND OF PILGRIMAGE invites you to visit the town of Wellfleet, as the festival comes and goes.
Fleet Moves was a dance festival that occurred in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, every summer between 2012 and 2016. Originally founded by The Movement Party as a opportunity for artists (mostly based in New York City) to present site-specific work, Fleet Moves changed dramatically over the course of its brief life.
As the years went on the festival shed the imperative to present work publicly, opting instead to double down on the serious relationships that had developed between festival participants, local Cape residents, and the natural habitats of Cape Cod. It became less of a dance festival and more of an experiment in practice of different approaches to collective art making and living.
Given the highly professionalized context of contemporary dance and art, instances of retreating from the spotlight, as happened with Fleet Moves, are extremely rare. In A KIND OF PILGRIMAGE we observe how Fleet Moves was able to transform into a platform that was (almost radically) committed to listening, observing, and attuning itself to its natural, social, and artistic surroundings. As a dance festival becomes something else a question begins to take shape: is the political significance of Art to be found in its ability to teach attentiveness, rather than in its ability to present spectacle?
A KIND OF PILGRIMAGE was developed from within Fleet Moves itself, with filmmaker Guillaume Caron participating in the festival as an artist for three of the 5 years. As filming progressed the scope of the project adopted a more contemplative approach to filming and expanded its scope of inquiry beyond the candor of the festival artists to include inhabitants of Wellfleet connected to the festival, and field recordings of the various sonic environments of the Cape. The result is a feeling of experiencing the daily life in the town of Wellfleet as the festival comes and goes.
From its unique position both inside and outside of the festival proper, the process of developing the documentary generated its own list of questions, ultimately asking us to consider the nature of hospitality and the dynamics of hosting/visiting by reflecting on the shifting, yearly encounter between the town of Wellfleet and the Fleet Moves Festival.