I recently watched Peace Velvet Sky by Corinne Bailey Rae and Stolen Fruit by Tank and The Bangas and now I have this severe itch of late to direct another dance short film. While ideating and considering tweeting about my current excitement, it dawned on me. I never did share in its entirety the last project I created during the pandemic.
In 2020, I made a tweet reminiscing on the first dance short I created as a dedication to my late grand mother and how I wanted to direct more meaningful dance shorts. That tweet, kick-started 3 discussions and the one that fully developed was my conversation with Jherane Patmore of Rebel Women Lit. Jherane shared that a few weeks before she heard a poem by poet Tara Downs and it would be great to create a visual adaption.
The poem is a reflection of Tara’s personal journey from late teens to early twenties, encapsulating a time of transition and growth. During conversations about the poem and their own experiences, Tara shared that it encapsulated a range of emotions, including excitement, tranquility, and personal development. In this piece, the humming serves as a symbolic representation of Tara’s voice and the internal growth that courses through them, akin to a dance that swells into a powerful crescendo. The humming also carries a deeper significance, paying homage to Tara’s late grandmother, who used to wander through the house humming.
The piece aimed to recreate the essence of the backyard where Tara would spend time with their grandmother. Also in doing so we aimed to invoke that sense of nostalgia that many of us as Jamaicans can relate to if they cherished visiting their grandparents. This visual journey transports viewers back to Tara’s youth, into the grandmother’s backyard, observing her as she goes about her daily tasks, such as raking and hanging clothes. I collaborated closely with dancer and choreographer Neila Ebanks and Tara to translate these sentiments into two scenes. Each scene concludes with a crescendo, symbolizing the pinnacle of their individual journeys and their interconnectedness.
Niela beautifully evokes the energy of both Tara and their grandmother, which acts as a symbol of the love bond between them and an evolution as time builds. The hum emanating from the ribs symbolizes the profound connection between Tara and their grandmother, as if they have become a single entity humming in unison that grows into a crescendo.
Director: Jik-Reuben Pringle
Producer: Rebel Women Lit
Choreographer & Dancer: Neila Ebanks
Director of Photography: Cesar Buelto
1st Assistant Camerawoman: Toni-Ann Davy
Sound Editor: Andrew Campbell
Music Composer: Jeremy Ashbourne
Editor: Frsh Creative
Special thanks to Pauline and Jeana Lindo for allowing us to use their lovely backyard.
Peace, Perfect Peace,
September 14th, 2023