A Choreographic Chain Letter to Keep Us Connected

For all of us, finding ways to connect with our friends and loved ones is more important now than ever before. Through dance, we find each other wherever we are. Ten San Francisco Ballet dancers are connected through their movement in this choreographic chain letter. The film originated with a dancer who improvised a six-second solo to the music, and this choreography was passed along to the next dancer who picked up where the previous one left off. This process continued through all ten dancers. The viewer is seamlessly transported through a variety of locations by way of an editing technique first pioneered in Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. and applied to dance by filmmakers such as Maya Deren and Mitchell Rose.

For our choreographic chain letter, ten members of the Company are joined by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, performing to Moritz Moszkowski’s “Spanische Tanze.” Then, 10 dancers from New York City Ballet continued the letter, dancing to Phillip Glass’s “Rubric,” featured in Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces. They were then joined by 10 dancers from American Ballet Theatre, dancing to Delibes’ “Les Chasseresses,” played by San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, followed by Pacific Northwest Ballet, dancing to “Patchwork”—choreographed by Leah Terada and Miles Perti, composed by Evan Williams, audio engineered by Brent Hauer, and featuring Noa Even (saxophone) and Stephen Klunk (drum set).

Now, Boston Ballet closes out this choreographic chain letter, dancing to “Negro Folk Symphony,” composed by William Dawson and performed by Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Neeme Jarvi. Bravo to all the dancers and artists involved! We can’t wait to see you back onstage soon!

Inspired by the films of Mitchell Rose.

Header Image: A thumbnail from Sequentia.