Benjamin Rivera is my kind of choreographer. Talented, creative, and proactive-- he made this short dance video to highlight what he's got-- and he's got a lot. His subway segment is all about subtle strength and the importance of timing. Other choreographers who made the Jitterbug! cut on this site are Abdoulave Barry & Marina Dessi, Homer Hans Bryant, Keoni & Mari Madrid, Michelle Dorrance, Kyle Hanagami & Haley Fitzgerald, Antonio Bruton & Mell Waller, Marquese Scott and, of course, Jeffrey Page, the Emmy nominated choreographer who created dance numbers for my NYC Jitterbug! reading during the Emerging Artists Theatre musical theatre fest a few years ago. You can see videos on some of their routines on the Jitterbug! NEWS and BLOG pages.
Twenty-somethings discover a dance from the 20's. Again.
Jitterbug! started out a screenplay. In the earliest iteration, I saw the climatic dance contest using SFX to reinforce the magic of the moment: to win it, to blow everyone's mind in the Savoy, Tharbis would be thrown straight up into the air directly above Billy. As she continued to rise like a helicopter, like an inverted top, her skirt flying out to the sides, Billy would fall away into a split in order to accentuate the distance between them. When she reached her zenith and began to fall back, Billy would rise in a smooth reverse split just in time to catch her and to throw her around his back in one seamless move. Now I don't think that is necessary any more. Now I encourage choreographers to "reach into the future" for moves the 1930's have never seen before to win the contest. In retrospect it seems right and natural to do that because it would compliment the music in the dancical, music that traces the evolution of jazz from a 1907 piano riff by an unknown tunesmith for tap dancers through the 30's collaborations between blacks and Jews, and into the sixties and seventies with the evolution of jazz by Ellington into symphonic masterpieces and the very modern disruptive influences of Ornette Coleman's dissonant "Free Jazz." That said, I still think the above video showing how far SFX has come is muy inspiring especially when applied to dance.
The power of dance to express emotion without words is on display here in this tour de force 2016 Technical Winner of the New York City Drone Film Festival. French filmmakers Pascal Anquetil and Colin Solal Cardo make the whole aerial sequence look seamless but its the dance choreographed and danced by Abdoulave Barry & Marina Dessi who make the song touch the heart and soul. BTW, according to the film fest it took 20 takes in freezing cold weather to get it right.
It's called Hiplet and I absolutely want to see it in my protagonists' dance number that wins the contest at the Savoy and brings the curtain down and the audience to its feet. It is just so... beautiful. Homer Hans Bryant is the choreographer who created this oh-so-cool hybrid of hip hop and ballet. He is the founder and artistic director of the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center. His inventive mind has also given us the stiletto-heel pointe shoe. I love this guy. He' my kind of choreographer.
Multi-hyphenate with a penchant for writing.