Scarcity & Abundance: a dance film dichotomy

Watch Scarcity & Abundance


  • Around Oregon Biennial, 2023

Official Selection 2023 Festivals:

  • Paris Play Film Festival
  • Dance Camera Istanbul

About Scarcity & Abundance

Scarcity & Abundance is a setting of two dance films that live together in opposition while seeking balance through constraints. Prompted by emotional and artistic challenges of living and working separately from his partner for the 18 months leading up to 2020, photographer Jonathan Potter devised this work as a meditation on loneliness and creativity. The pairing of films is a call and response: While Abundance explores the violence of loneliness through the barren landscape of Johnson Valley, California, Scarcity responds with subtle engagements through the suffocatingly lush environment of Portland, Oregon. The delicate and powerful movement performances from Jhia Jackson and Katy Meeks draw the viewer in, exploring contemplative space.

Constraints guide the camerawork throughout, forcing each film to use a limited set of moves. These rules provided a grounding for both the aesthetic qualities of the films, as well as the performance development. Cinematographer and movement director, Brian Hashimoto and choreographer Jhia Jackson developed a relational camera grammar in concert with the steady-cam rig to capture the dynamic feel of Abundance. These rules were then reacted-to while devising Scarcity, nearly three years later, emphasizing a connectedness of these moments, while highlighting the distance between them.

Director and Producer Jonathan Potter worked with Photographer and Filmmaker Brian Hashimoto and dancer Jhia Jackson to develop the concept and capture Abundance in late 2019. The COVID-19 Pandemic threatened to prevent the completion of the project, but in late 2022 dancer Katy Meeks and Potter collaborated to capture the final sections of Scarcity.

View the project on Film Freeway for Festival Submissions

Production Photography

Color photography: Art Alamaguer @whydoyouphotograph

Black and white photography: Jonathan Potter @mrjonathanpotter