A bit of soul in ASJDFL;DJS;KJ

This week on ScreenDance Diaries I’m excited to be the first to drop a new short film by the incredibly talented director Casey Brooks.

Filmed at the beautiful Hotel Plaza Athenee in New York, with its unpronounceable name: ASJDFL;DJS;KJ depicts the lovely and powerful dancer Maria Volpe, currently a soloist with Shen Wei, awaking the morning after a night of partying. As she comes to consciousness, she finds herself alone amidst a gaggle of pooped and partied out sleeping men, strewn and scattered across beds, sofas, & chaise lounges. Still simmering from the night before, she moves to her own rhythm – along with music from Ray Charles’ “A Bit of Soul” – in a blast of morning sunlight, tumbling and catapulting herself around the room and over the men’s unconscious bodies. Although performed with technical prowess, the movement is full of lazy, sexy, stumbling and falling, wonderfully choreographed by Hillary Pearson to look haphazard and quotidian.

Maria Volpe dancing amongst sleeping men in ASJDFL;DJS;KJ
Maria Volpe catapults herself amongst sleeping men in ASJDFL;DJS;KJ

With ASJDFL;DJS;KJ, Brooks makes great use of emojis in a completely original way, and the beautiful cinematography by Victoria Sendra (who I had the pleasure of working with recently myself) complements Brooks’ amazing editing perfectly. Casey Brooks chooses her material carefully and always has a strong and singular approach. She sees like a camera, and almost nothing she makes does not integrate dance. No wonder she is suddenly in high demand to create media ads for the likes of brands such as Vivian Westwood, Saks, and Farfetch. I’m thrilled to have Brooks join me and other esteemed dance & filmmakers as a judge for our just launched Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival Round Two 2017.


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