Interview with LADIA

Director Alvaro Congosto
Director of Photography Jim Dandee
Choreographer Sandra Kramerova
Dancer Sandra Kramerova
Composer Jon Lloyd

Inspired by female “superheroes” Lara Croft and Nadia Comaneci. LADIA explores the limits of pain, effort and exhaustion in a contemporary female athlete.

2nd Jury Award and 3rd audience award at 3RD BRAGA INTERNATIONAL VIDEO DANCE FESTIVAL

Describe, in as many or as few words as you see fit, the genesis of or inspiration behind your film.
Sandra Kramerova, the choreographer of the film, made a solo performance dealing with exhaustion and the fight for recognition inspired by female “superheroes” Lara Croft and Nadia Comaneci. The idea was to show a female star being challenged to her limits and seeing the backstage moments of suffering in her own shadow. Abused by thriving for perfection and external approval, LADIA denies herself as a human and it comes at her after all. The choreography and the movie looks at a woman who dedicates all her effort to win the game, where the only game is to win over herself.
What is interesting or intriguing to you about engaging with dance for film vs. dance for stage? Or, if you are coming from a film background and working with dance is a secondary medium for you, what drew you to wanting to capture and work with dance?
Sandra and I had been talking about doing a dance film for a while. We had no idea on how to approach the process but we knew that we wanted to make something that would feel real, something that wouldn’t look staged. When I saw Sandra performing the solo on stage I knew this was the right project to bring into a film. The solo was raw, powerful and emotionally intense. I immediately felt very driven to turn it into a movie. Now the next challenge was how to convey all those different emotions through film language. This is the first time we work together, the first time Sandra performs only for the camera and the first time I make a dance film. I have personally shot a lot of dance performances but they are usually a frustrating experience. You are usually limited in your frame choices and even though the images might look good, they never feel like when you see the performance happening in front of you. I remember very well how I felt when I saw Sandra’s solo for the first time on stage and my goal with this film was to make the audience feel the same way I felt when I watched it live.
Learn more about Ladia at