Preview: FILMS.DANCE (Jacob Jonas Dance Company with The Soraya, The Wallis, Los Angeles, and The Harris, Chicago)

Post image for Preview: FILMS.DANCE (Jacob Jonas Dance Company with The Soraya, The Wallis, Los Angeles, and The Harris, Chicago)

by Tony Frankel on January 13, 2021

in Dance,Film,Theater-Chicago,Theater-Los Angeles


Here comes Films.Dance, an extremely ambitious and most promising global project from one of the hottest leaders in dance. This stunningly shot series exists at the intersection of music composition, dance choreography, visual arts, fashion, and film. So while the curtain is down, L.A.-based Jacob Jonas The Company is creating a digital stage to share these mediums with audiences. While physically apart, cross disciplinary artists from around the world came together through technology to make inspiring works that feature over 150 artists from 52 cities across 25 countries.

Available one per week beginning January 25, 2021, you will see, for FREE, 15 short films that have been shot over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through non-traditional collaborations across cultures and continents, and led by the vision of Mr. Jonas, the series was filmed at locations including Amsterdam, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, London, Los Angeles, New York, Nigeria, and Spain. First, check out the preview below:

I have seen Jacob Jonas’s work live here in the L.A. area, so I can attest to the creativity and raw drama of this most fantastic company. Now, presented by three major arts organizations, Mr. Jonas will become known to the world. The performing arts orgs behind this are The Soraya and The Wallis in Los Angeles, and Harris Theater in Chicago. The series, in partnership with Somewhere Magazine, connects the perspectives of diverse artists from a range of disciplines, dance genres, abilities, and experiences.

The films premiere each Monday at 9am PST on the Web at Films.Dance, on Instagram on the account, and the Films.Dance Facebook page. A series of weekly conversations and engagement events is in development and will allow for deeper exploration of the series themes, creative process, and perspectives of collaborating artists.

January 25 – May 3, 2021

Marvel Ebinum and Victory Ebinum in KADUNA. Cinematography by Raymond Yusuff.

January 25, 2021
Self-taught dancers and brothers Victory and Marvel Ebinum explore familial bonds against the landscape of their native Nigeria. With original choreography by New York City-based Vinson Fraley, a member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Kaduna features an original score by Los Angeles-based composer Anibal Sandoval sung by the Gbagyii Tribe, and is co-directed by Ridwan Adeniyi, member of the Nigeria-based Critics Company, and Jacob Jonas. The wardrobe is by Khadijah Yunusa.

Toke Broni Standby in TOKE. Cinematographer Eira Wyn Jones.

February 1, 2021
Set in the urban metropolis of London, Toke is an intimate portrait of Danish-born dancer Toke Broni Strandby. An inspiring story about triumph, choreographed by Stuart Shugg, Toke is a celebration of the beautiful resilience of the human spirit. London-based filmmaker NONO and cinematographer Eira Wyn Jones captured Toke’s unique story, set to an original score by Paulo Gallo and with an original costume by Japanese designer Kazuya Kojima.

Luanna Gondim and Maitê Nunes in PÁSSARO DISTANTE. Cinematography by Larissa Zaidan.

February 8, 2021
When the pandemic hit, dancers Luís FernandoJovani Furlan, Luanna GondimMaitê Nunes reunited in their hometown of Joinville, Brazil and dance together as a shadow of one another, in a familiar yet alien place that allows for contemplative self-examination. Directed by Gabriela Mo and with cinematography by Larissa Zaidan, Pássaro Distante features original choreography by Cassi Abranches, choreographer for São Paolo Companhia de Dança and Grupo Corpo, and original music from Andrei Martinez Kozyreff, Ju Strassacapa + Malu Magri, members of Latin Grammy-nominated group, Francisco, el Hombre. The stylist is Bru Fernandes.

Scene from MATCH, directed and edited by Jay Wadley and Emily Kikta.

February 15, 2021
Five choreographers, 46 dancers, 20 countries — Match is dance not bound by theater walls or limited by international borders. Dancers from the world’s leading companies join together setting work to music by Jay Wadley. Original choreography by Emily Kikta (New York City Ballet), Jamar Roberts (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Oliver Starpov (Royal Danish Ballet), Peter Walker (New York City Ballet) and Xin Ying (Martha Graham Dance Company).
DANCERS: Rocio Agüero, Marcel Anselmé, Edson Barbosa, Rishan Benjamin, Nardia Boodoo, Renan Cerdeiro, Adji Cissoko, Monike Cristina, Christopher D’Ariano, Patricia Delgado, Michaela DePrince, Naoya Ebe, Kiara Felder, Ruan Galdino, Angelica Generosa, James Gilmer, Stanley Glover, Alejandro Gonzalez, Dara Holmes, Michael Jackson Jr., Drew Jacoby, Emily Kikta, Lloyd Knight, Joseph Kudra, Christopher Kunzelmann, Chun-Wing Lam, Allister Madin, Oliver Marcus Starpov, Heather Ogden, Nancy Osbaldeston, Jamar Roberts, Robert Robinson, Emma Rosenzweig-Bock, Kanika Skye Carr, Gabrielle Sprauve, Eleftheria Stamou, Addie Tapp, Mike Tyus, Jon Vallejo, Tess Voelker, Peter Walker, Jill Wilson, Xin Ying, Patricia Zhou

Desmond Richardson in EDGING NORMAL. Cinematography by Arseni Khachaturan.

February 22, 2021
Desmond Richardson, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, dances a new work choreographed by Jacob JonasEdging Normal is a metaphorical tale of a man’s struggle to shed his past in order to feel completely free. Directed by Andre BatoEdging Normal features music co-composed by visionary Steve Hackman and jazz icon Dave Koz, a nine-time Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist. The stylist is Tracey Nicholson.

Li Kehua (Lico) in 正念 - NOW. Cinematography by Marcus Tang.

March 1, 2021
正念 – NOW
Shanghai-based director Robin Mahieux focuses the lens on a young woman, Li Kehua (Lico), dancer with BeijingDance/LDTX company, as she awakens to the fullness of the present moment,. Choreographed by Gypsy Snider, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The 7 Fingers, and set to. original music from Rosie Lowe, singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in London, 正念 – NOW steps into now, forsaking the past and mindfully moving into the future.

Mikaela Kelly and Kele Roberson in DADU. DP Sam du Pon.

March 8, 2021
Captured on Super 16 mm film and utilizing natural light, four dancers explore abstraction through the framing of movement set against the terrain of the Dutch hamlet of Spaarnwoude. Ian Robinson, former dancer with Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, directs Jesse CallaertMikaela Kelly, Kele Roberson, and Annika Verplancke, members of Nederlands Dans Theater, with cinematography by Amsterdam-based Sam du Pon and music composed by Awir Leon, singer songwriter, producer and former dancer with Emanuel Gat Dance.

Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost direct Sara Mearns in ANOTHER SERIOUS DANCE FILM.
Photo by Jose Tutes.

March 15, 2021
New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns performs tongue-in-cheek choreography by Andrea Miller, founder of GALLIM, at the East River Park Amphitheater in a witty short film directed by Ariel Schulman + Henry Joost, directors of the current Netflix film Project Power, to an original score from five-time Grammy Award-winning composer Antonio Sánchez.

Miguel Alejandro Lópezand Mike Tyus in SAME SKY. Cinematography by Frank Mobilio.

March 22, 2021
Directed by Grammy-nominated director Andy Hines, Same Sky explores the world in front of us, the differences amongst ourselves, and a likeness we see in others.  With music composed by Steve HackmanSame Sky features the original choreography of Rauf “Rubberlegz” Yasit, a German break-dancer living in Los Angeles, and is performed by Jacob Jonas The Company members Joy Isabella BrownMiguel Alejandro LópezMike Tyus, and Jill Wilson.

Adeline Kerry Cruz in SIT STILL. Cinematography by Alexandre Nour.

March 29, 2021
Alone in a vacant school, Montreal-based filmmaker Vincent René-Lortie directs seven-year-old Adeline Kerry Cruz on an intimate and exhaustive journey of self-expression. With choreography by Russell “Gutta” Ferguson, she navigates her emotions through the free and expressive street dance style Krump and to the original score by Brady Kendall of Alaskan Tapes. Wardrobe by Geneviéve Boiteau.

Gonzalo Garcia in GALOPE.

April 5, 2021
New York City ballet principal dancer Gonzalo Garcia’s energy is like a hundred thousand horses as he delves inside the earth, inside himself. Directed by Barcelona-based Nur Casadevall, it features original music from Alex Somers, composer for films including Captain Fantastic (2016), Honey Boy (2019) and Miss Americana (2020).

 Natasha Patterson and Sabine van Rensburg in XENO. Cinematography by Kristof Brandl.

April 12, 2021
Xeno is the smallest measurable unit of human connection, typically exchanged between passing strangers—a flirtatious glance, a sympathetic nod, moments that are fleeting and random but still contain powerful emotional nutrients that can alleviate the symptoms of feeling alone. Mexico City-based choreographer and founder of contemporary dance company Nohbords, Diego Mur (Nohbords) created an original work on Montreal-based circus-artists Natasha Patterson +  Sabine Van Rensburg. Xeno is directed by Amy J. Gardner, with cinematography by Kristof Brandl and original music by Berlin-based Alice Phoebe Lou + Thor Rixon.

Robert Robinso, Conal Finn Francis-Martin, and Jamal Uhlmann in TORN.
Cinematography by Lasse Liebelt.

April 19, 2021
In this visual exploration of the expectations of manhood, three men fight for dominance while exposing the internal fight and dialogue with the self, embodied by the three protagonists. While each of them fights for dominance, they simultaneously expose their weaknesses, tearing each other down, lifting each other up and struggling to find support in moments of fading strength. Berlin-based director Torben Loth captures the original choreography of London-based Waddah Sinada, founder of FUBUNATION. The work is performed by Conal Finn Francis-MartinRobert Robinson, and Jamal Uhlmann, all dancers with State Ballet Hanover, and features an original sound design by Peter Duffy, original score by Pete Fraser and wardrobe by Chinese-born, London-based designer Feng Chen Wang.

Joy Isabella Brown in PLUME.

April 26, 2021
21 acrobats from around the world, from Australia to the United States to Russia, performed and filmed their unique movement styles which were then layered with animation to create Plume. Despite clipped wings, the artists in Plume perform in full flight underscored by the brilliant music played by noted violinist Hillary Hahn. Co-directed by Beren D’Amico + Francisco Cruz, the film features an original score by Gaelynn Lea, an American folk singer, violinist, public speaker and disability advocate, with arrangement by Steve Hackman and superstar violinist Hilary Hahn, who also plays.
Dancers: Tia Balacey, Kristián Mensa, Aurélien Oudot, Kevin Beverley, Joy Isabella Brown, Kaisha DW, Seirian Griffiths, Beren D’Amico, Luca ‘Lazylegz’ Patuelli, Nic Walton, Quentin Greco, Yvonne Smink, Brin Schoelkopf, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Sadiqua Bynum, Francisco Cruz, Mathieu Forget, Daniel Liddiard, Chernih Denis, Louis Gift, Dominic Cruz

Emma Rosenzweig-Bock in WEAKNESS OF THE FLESH. Cinematography by Shaun Boyte.

May 3, 2021
Los Angeles-based Jacob Jonas virtually co-directs with Ireland-based Kevin McGloughlin, intersecting dance and visual design. Performed by Jacob Jonas The Company’s Emma Rosenzweig-Bock, Weakness of the Flesh features original music by Max Cooper, working at the intersection between electronic music, visual art, technology and science, the vocals of Hindustani Classical trained Samad Kahn, and the cinematography of Shaun Boyte.

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