My culture misunderstood.
These are the first words spoken in the film. The words echo as a single dancer, wearing a shirt that says Footwork Saves Lives, starts to move. Our eyes focus on his feet — mesmerized by how fast and dynamic the movements are. The sound of his sneakers hitting the ground is amplified over the calm music in the background. We see shots of only the dancers’ feet moving in slow motion.
The five black dancers perform alone as the camera moves with them. As the music begins to speed up, there are more moments where we see the footwork at its full speed. Then, we see close-ups of their feet and hands as they dance. We notice just how intricate and difficult this style of dance is. This is how the five dancers tell their story — through footwork, they speak.
Footwork For Justice Showcase in 1st Online Physical Theater Festival
The Era Footwork Crew premiered their short dance film in the Physical Theater Festival. In the climax of this dance film, three of the dancers lay on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs. Sirens blaze in the background and then, two feet come to the forefront of the frame and dancers. The footwork becomes a voice against oppression and racism.
Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor. The dancers say their names as they slowly raise their fists in the air. This moment is emotional and powerful in its stillness. The film pleads for us to not look away and stand with them.
THE TESTAMENT is relevant and a must-see for everyone, in this writer’s view. Their storytelling carries through not only the dancing but the music, lyrics, and editing as well. Whether you are a dancer or not, you will be moved by how The Era Footwork Crew uses footwork to scream—BLACK LIVES MATTER!
The Era Footwork Crew
Brandon K. Calhoun
On-Demand – Any Time
Images courtesy of Physical Theater Festival
Read more dance reviews by dancers in the Picture This Post Round-Up, “Choreographers’ Eyes - Dancers Explain Dance”. Watch this video preview of the story here — Read more dance reviews by dancers in the Picture This Post Round-Up, “Choreographers’ Eyes - Dancers Explain Dance”. Watch this video preview of the story here —
Read more dance reviews by dancers in the Picture This Post Round-Up, “Choreographers’ Eyes - Dancers Explain Dance”. Watch this video preview of the story here —
About the Author: Sabrina Lee
Sabrina Lee is a sophomore at Hofstra University pursuing a B.A. in Journalism. Raised in Orange County, California, she has been a gymnast, dancer, and coach. In her free time, she loves watching movies, eating Korean food, and practicing her poker skills. Sabrina's favorite place to be is in the audience of a Broadway show.