Curated Films

Fashion & Fantasy | Part 22

A MONTHLY CURATED VIDEO SELECTION BY NICCOLÒ MONTANARI: THIS MONTH Nico takes A CLOSER LOOK AT THE MIX OF DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY AND CINEMATOGRAPHY, illuminating the challenges and process of a film having a strong dance component that doesn't overshadow everything else that is on screen.

I don’t necessarily enjoy one specific category when it comes to video content. What I truly enjoy is when several creative expressions come together, using video as a blank canvas to portray their message as one. Recently I’ve been particularly interested in dance: I enjoy a fierce choreography, and when movement blends into the cinematography and sound of the film, that's when dance really stands out. All three elements should work together for a single scope, rather than compete with one another for attention. For this month’s Fashion & Fantasy, I’ve looked at five very strong pieces that fit this criteria.

Diversity Of Silence feat. BLACK MIRROR Gloom 

Starting off with Diversity Of Silence – Gloom feat. Black Mirror and directed by LA-based filmmaker, Jane Qian, this film stars dancer and choreographer Jeremy Julian Grandberry in a powerful yet playful performance. Beautifully shot, Qian is able to create an almost mystical world to reflect Diversity Of Silence’s ominous and dreamy lyrics. 


The next piece is called Velvet, directed by Iggy LDN. It’s a story about knife crime, using creative visual storytelling to tell it in a different way. Playing with the connection between rigidity and movement, we get to learn about the relationship between a mother and her son. Dance here works to amplify the traits of a character (the son), conveying freedom, innocence and carelessness, working in juxtaposition to the rigidity of the mother, who is fully aware of what that innocent freedom could lead do. 


Overlove by Paula M. Ferro is another beautiful short that focuses on the passage of time and love during our youth. Even though the film has no dialogue, we get to learn a great deal about the two characters of the film and their relationship. Compared to the previous films, we don’t really get to see a dance routine as such. It’s more composition of careful movements that are bolstered by the intensity of the two actors and their powerful performance. Dance and movement here form the basis of the real dialogue of the film, working to showcase how words are often superfluous. 

NOWNESS La Primavera Negra 

Next up is La Primavera Negra by Esteban—a powerful dance piece commissioned by NOWNESS that features ballet dancer Jackson Carroll as he performs to the sounds of avant-garde composer, Max Richter. Dressed in Yohji Yamamoto and Dries Van Noten, Carroll takes on Vivaldi’s “Summer” for over four minutes in one single camera shot. This isn’t a film about appreciating the perfection of a dance performance; what struck me was how the music, the dancer and the camera all worked together to achieve the maximum level of intensity and intimacy. 

Kormac | New Day  

Last on the list we have Kormac—New Day. A visually stunning piece shot in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, it’s directed by William Armstrong for Irish DJ, producer, and composer Kormac. The film is inspired by the train surfers of South Africa who build their reputation by dancing on the top of commuter trains. This is a film about transitioning from childhood into adulthood, in which movement stands as a way to escape, a reflection of youth, and a way out.