This video was created to serve as a Show Reel for the Silk Road Dance Company- Washington, D.C.
The job order was very interesting because it involved me becoming more aware of the clientele that the Creative Director was eliciting the attention of. In addition to that,like most dance companies, competing for grants by scoring points in competitions was part of the mission in shooting and editing this footage.
What a stunning performance this ended up being. The company brought me to Wash DC during election week and the town was a hive of activity and the air was charged with such expectation.
Some of this footage was shot during their rehearsals and these shots would have been impossible to capture during the stage performance. Attending the rehearsals helped to inform me so that I could time pulling my focus and not risk loosing something in the essential dance vocabulary.
Many of these dance narrative depict stories that legends echo, many of these movements are ancient, some of these stories are Biblical. Imagine seeing dance moves that were performed thousands of years ago.
This concert production was titled: ‘Legends of the Silk Road’ and it portrayed 3,000 years of women who sometimes loved too much and played too hard, ruled and sometimes lost, were martyred, birthed religions etc.
My job was to capture these glorious narratives and translate, but not interpret them to film.
If you’ve never considered the fine distinction that puts an ocean of possibilities between the function of being an ‘interpreter’ or a ‘translator’ you might look it up.
There was a total of 18 separate dances and I cut them to just one piece of music. The edited sequence is layered to deliver double meaning to those who are among the initiated. This will score points for the Silk Road Dance Company because they’re hired by museums, cultural events held on the high days and holidays of the ethnic communities they are drawn from.
If any of you were raised in ethnic communities you’ll know that tremendous pride is on display when you see your country honoured in dance and the delight and cultural pride of having a way to introduce your companions, and be brought back to something so important, births a sentiment that lies too deep for words.
Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray, is the Dance Companies Creative Director, Scholar, Costume Maker, Dance Instructor, and single handed runs the Marketing and Advertising department as well!
She is, above all, an ambassador for this Persian Culture and has many accolades and international awards that attest to her knowledge and expertise.
The Historical Silk Road was the information super highway of it’s day and this small dance company, in my opinion has done much to bridge many cultural differences while offering their art to awe inspired audiences.
By the way, have you ever seen the way silk glows under stage lights? Oh, my.