creating the dance film 'grow'

Updated: May 19, 2021

When we had the photoshoot in the empty swimming pool in August 2020, I also wanted to create a dance film in the same location.

I have always enjoyed creating short dance films, since I studied it as part of my degree at university. Capturing movement on film, and editing it, uses similar choreographic concepts that you would use for a live piece, but you apply it with the way in which you film, direct, and edit the piece. I thought it would be a really nice way to engage with the dancers again after lockdown, and it also allowed them to be creative with their own movements.


I gave the dancers some prep work, so they had some movement choreographed before we arrived at the pool. I asked each dancer to create a short piece based on feelings of anxiety and impatience, and another piece using softer, full-bodied movements that resemble their idea of freedom and release, whilst incorporating the use of breath into those movements.

This meant that each person came to the session with something completely personal to them. We had each session in groups of twos and threes, to adhere to the restrictions, and this enabled me to watch each person’s choreography and to find ways of connecting between each dancer. This may have been movements that complimented each other, or had a sense of action and reaction. Some movements I asked to be repeated, or to adapt slightly in another way to enhance the intention of the film. We also played around with perspective between each dancer, and the use of speed to challenge the movements and what they portrayed.

As well as developing and experimenting with the dancers’ choreography, we also created movement as a direct response to the space, and the use of the flowers that we had as props.


Once the filming was over, it was over to me and the editing suite! I had asked Frank Leonard Walker, a local mixing and mastering engineer, to create a sound score for the film. It was so exciting watching the development of the sound, and how it brought the film to life with a deeper sense of atmosphere. Frank’s work was very sensitive to the intention of the film. It was the cherry on top!

The whole film was shot on an iPhone 11, with the use of a gimbal to help to steady some shots. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the film, and Frank made to use of his (very cool) music studio and Pro Tools to create the sound.

A huge thank you to all involved to create the film!


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