Director Biography – Stirling Matheson, Sarah Farnsley (ABSOLUTION)

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Stirling Matheson is a founding director of Ballet Theatre of Indiana, a choreographer of numerous narrative works, and a dancer.

Stirling Matheson grew up in Fairfax, California, where he trained at Dance Theatre Seven under David “Rocky” Roxander and Jody White. He continued his training at the Arizona School of Classical Ballet with Nadya Zubkov before attending Butler University, where he earned a B.A. in Dance (Pedagogy). While at Butler, he performed principal roles in Giselle, Cinderella, Serenade, and several other works. Under the direction of Marek Cholewa, he performed in a tour of Poland and studied at the Cantilena School of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia.

After graduation, he danced with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, where he performed soloist and principal roles in Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Frontier 1812. After leaving Maryland he worked as a guest artist throughout the country before founding Ballet Theatre of Indiana in 2014.

For BTI, Stirling has created a number of original works including Dracula, The Masque of the Red Death, Baba Yaga, and Under the Bridge, and directed the short film of Sarah Farnsley’s Absolution, which premiered at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood as part of the Dances With Films Festival and has been featured several other festivals as well..

As a writer, Stirling has been published by Dance Magazine, Digital Trends, Complex Magazine, 95 Octane, and

Director Statement

Most of the time, when a camera is turned towards dancers something is lost. Either a choreographer is too frightened to cut in and lose any movement or a filmmaker doesn’t capture the essence of the choreography itself. This leads to film that either has the look of archival footage, which is missing the emotional impact of live performance, or a work of cinema that almost glosses over the actual dancing. My goal for “Absolution” was to balance these two artforms and use the magic of cinema to replace the emotional impact of a live show.


By experimentalfilmfestival

Festival occurs 3 times a month! Showcased the best of experimental short films and music videos from around the world.

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