We Came to Dance

In my virgin entry of “ScreenDance Diaries” at Cultural Weekly from more than two years ago, I opened with a feature about Bat Sheva’s stunning short, Home Alone, and wrote as follows:  “Dance is a life force that lives in all of us. Like our instinct to crawl or speak, and our desire to fly, we are born hardwired to move to music and rhythm, be it internal or external, in a way that is, just is, dance…Dance is bursting from cracks in the sidewalk, infiltrating everyday life, and claiming its place in popular culture.”
I feel that way more than ever and I’m not alone. We Came to Dance speaks of this life force that is dance, and illustrates it whimsically and beautifully. With voiceover and graphics driving its point, We Came to Dance is perhaps more treatise than dance short, but it’s a treatise with movement to back it up. From its opening frames wherein we see what is presumably a fetus in utero and soon hear the words We were born in motion, it goes on to explore the thin line between walking and dancing, right and wrong, suggesting that social constructions would squelch our instinct to move with abandon. With its integration of lyrical, salsa, street dance, and more, and the pitting of movers against traffic and ordinary pedestrians, We Came to Dance inherently questions the unspoken concept that normal people don’t dance in public. I especially love the passage featuring a guy doing a sidewinder walk across the street on all fours in front of a line of waiting cars.

Sidewinding across a street in "We Came to Dance"
Sidewinding across a street in “We Came to Dance”

Do we dare to dance in public?  Yes, yes, we do!
Beautifully directed by Kevin Arbouet with great cinematography by Noah Yuan-Vogel, and featuring wonderful dance by Mackenzie Amara, Asha, Tasha Blank, Akil Davis, Harrison Holmes, Jonathan Janis, Jeezy, Tash Kouri, Elliott LaRue, Poppy Liu, Ptah, Kate Rubens, Helen Tocci, and Marlon Williams this winning short has a slick documentary feel, employing varying edits speeds, and zooms in and out, as it finds the pulse of movement on the street, in clubs, and elsewhere.
Two dancers rely on each other and their five senses in "We Came to Dance"
Two dancers rely on each other and their five senses in “We Came to Dance”

More than anything We Came to Dance is an uplifting declaration of the essential component of dance in life, using media as its messenger. Its meant to remind us of our need to get back in touch with this fundamental and I think essential part of who we are as human beings, a part that can unite rather than divide.  Rhythm can rewire our lives if we let it, claims We Came to Dance, urging us to return to the dance floor and rediscover the beat that goes straight to our bones. And as per the liner notes on YouTube, Everything we need is already inside us, just waiting to be moved.
And I hope you are. Enjoy.

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