I’m not quite sure how I encountered this starkly spare and beautiful short, directed filmed, and edited by Kenichi Sasaki of remarkable dancer Yasushi Shoji, but it is a small gem of a dance film that speaks for itself. As a dancer, Shoji has a subtle but powerful command in his posture and presence, and a movement range that is at once intuitively human and expressive and highly technically accomplished, mixing street moves and classical lines. I love the location – obviously somewhere in Japan – and how the palette and light is reminiscent of fresh rain. And I love how the use of inanimate objects and dripping water augments the overall ambience and sense of place, in particular the way the film’s drum score is augmented by the sound of the dancer’s feet, scraping and tapping on wooden or metal floorboards.
Towards the end of this film (which seems to have no title besides the dancer’s name) there is a gorgeous crescendo of sound, movement and editing that packs a punch and takes my breath away. Besides being a beautiful dance short, it’s a simple reminder of the power of film in its ability to take us elsewhere, condense time and space, and marry sound, image, and movement to create a poetry of score and story.
[embedvideo id=”5oSdnR3wY0s” website=”youtube”]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Founder/Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied by Nels Cline (Wilco). Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more. She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.