We’re going to NYC in a week in a half! To promote more cultural exchange between dancers from different cities, we asked folks at Homeland Cultural Center on questions they’d like to ask the NYC audience who will be at screening of “Furious Beauty” on June 22nd. Here are their questions.
Production Blog #11: Going Online to Offline - The “Furious Beauty” Screening Tour
Lately, I’ve been reading producer Ted Hope’s film blog Hope For Film, which challenged me to think about the new avenues opening up for filmmakers. There are a lot of relevant concepts on that blog for artists besides filmmakers. What happens when the old paradigm of creating and distributing art no longer works for us? Our media industries are experiencing disruptive change. A majority of Hollywood studio films currently gather close to seventy-five percent of their box office earnings overseas. Many of us in the U.S. would rather save money, stay at home, and binge-watch content on Netflix and VOD. We’re inundated with additional options in the forms of YouTube, video games, podcasts, and social media for our attention. We have less time to enjoy the growing amount of media and we’re inclined to pay less for it.
The hip-hop dance community is also being disrupted by technology, especially online video. Why attend a dance competition when you can watch the videos on YouTube? Why should I pay for a choreographer to teach me in class if I can copy his moves by watching him online? Taking this even further, why push myself creatively when it’s easier to repackage what I see other people doing in their concept videos? These are all extreme hypothetical situations. But I’m worried that the greater “noise” in our cultural landscape could make it harder for hip-hop dancers to be fully appreciated and valued. To combat this, can we build our own platforms to showcase our work and build loyal audiences around them?
I’m exploring this question through this Summer 2013 screening tour for Furious Beauty. Reflecting on our Santa Ana screening, I was surprised by how our audience wanted to continue interacting with us after the film ended. Part of me believes the film opened them up to honest conversations about what’s going on with their lives. Another part of me recognizes that the audience had just gained something they all shared – a communal experience through the film and now they wanted to prolong that sense of togetherness. I’ve been thinking about how we could maximize this “relational” time for our future audiences.
Taking a cue from Ted Hope’s blog, I would like the Furious Beauty Summer 2013 tour to be a catalyst in creating genuine connections between people. First, let’s make each of the tour date events unique. The live pre-shows and Q&As for each event date will be different. These events can’t be reproduced, quantified, or fully experienced unless you’re there. Even a video recording won’t capture the raw essence of the event. I’m embracing an open approach to this tour, taking each event, learning what worked and what didn’t, and then continually iterating it into a new form for the next one. Second, we’re going to encourage our audiences and our community to go from online to offline. Maybe we first connect through online means by a simple invite to one of our events. But once we meet face to face, let’s spend time together. Learn a dance move. Share our story. Build a collaboration to create something new out of the experience of watching this film. Let’s make that time after the screening an opportunity to create and plan for the future. We’re extending the spirit of this film beyond its running time. I hope what Furious Beauty has meant to me these past few years will reverberate into the lives of those encountering it. And third and final, let’s think about our globalized culture and how we can promote intimacy between different groups. Film is easily accessible to people from diverse backgrounds. It can be a bridge. A conversation-starter. If what we create through this tour actually edifies lives, then I think we’ll be offering audiences something that is tangible and cherished. We’re giving them an opportunity to be moved by art and then to dialogue about it in a personal, face-to-face way. That can work anywhere in the world.
Maybe there is a new way to combine film and dance here. I’m looking forward to exploring this and sharing more with you soon.
- Calvin Leung
*To learn more about Furious Beauty and to connect with us, check out our website here.
Original Article here.
Furious Beauty film screening tour has begun. First stop was Santa Ana tonight. Orange County experienced Versa-Style Dance Company’s story on the big screen & a live 2 vs 2 locking exhibition battle with Tsuyoshi & Boogiewalker vs Oni & Ryan. Audience members shared how they were moved by the film afterwards during the Q&A. Next stops are a private event in LA and then our NYC premiere followed by a return LA screening. @versastylela #film #furiousbeauty #dance #hiphop #losangeles #documentary #plixyl #plixylstudios #versastyle
This is turning out to be an exciting month where we’ve shared more content from our film Furious Beauty. Our music composer Brandon Verrett has released the film’s soundtrack online with additional content. Plus, two of the hip-hop songs are from music producer Tinman, a fellow dancer in the Los Angeles street dance community. This soundtrack was made possible by our Kickstarter campaign last summer 2012. You can listen to the journey that Versa-Style Dance Company takes during the film here!
Rehearsals for Versa-Style Dance Company’s new theatrical show have started. I’m watching all new behind the scenes footage of their process, that I filmed. Their show is also going to be called “Furious Beauty” inspired by my film of the same title. So from now until October 2013, I have a challenge to continue telling Versa-Style’s story as a family in a new storyline.
More of what I did today. Behind The Scenes at Versa-Style Dance Company’s film shoot at Six 01 Studio in downtown Los Angeles for their latest video project. Online premiere soon. @versastylela @showstoppa11 @janelle_elyse @_pshock_ @lilybreeze27 @sassy_j20 @anthonyberry76 @_preciseee #versastyle #furiousbeauty #plixyl #plixylstudios #film #dance #hiphop #losangeles #six01studio #documentary
I’m working as a cinematographer for the new Versa-Style Dance Company video project tomorrow at this studio Six 01 in Los Angeles (see a video of the studio space above from their website). More behind-the-scenes pics coming soon. It’s been a pleasure working with this company since we completed our film Furious Beauty together.
Versa-Style Next Generation. Some of LA’s youngest dancers performing for house legend Marjory Smarth at the Open House 4th Year Anniversary party this past weekend.
I love dancing. Versa-Style Dance Company teaching and performing in Chennai, India at the Chennai Hip-Hop Fest 2013. Video by Leigh “Breeze-Lee” Foaad.