DX awarded six Midlands-based artists & collectives a commission to produce a new Screendance Short of one minute in length. Each film explored themes of identity, lived experience and the future – all set within the region. From Jazz to Hip Hop, to Punk styles – these Screendance Shorts celebrate the breadth of creative dance talent in the Midlands.
Unbecoming, Everything You’re Not by Aidan Yau, Shaq Shadare & Kadafi Mulula
Set in Leicester, a place of diversity, culture, opportunity and leisure, this project aims to show how these aspects of the city are able to create a community thats essence develops individuals, by introducing them to challenges and experiences that allow them not only to find who they are but un-become everything that they are not. The story follows three individuals as they are drawn to the city and discover themselves through interaction with its community and the lessons it teaches.
About Aidan Yau, Shaq Shadare & Kadafi Mulula
We are 3 creatives, based in Leicester, with proficiency in dance, music, film and drama. Our dance skills focus on Breaking, Hip Hop and Contemporary and as members of street dance troupe, Code Crew, we have won national and international championships such as BDO British and Worlds, and Soar European. Individually, we have worked with artists and projects such as One Dance UK, Stealthboy, Lucemae and more. We are hungry for greatness and are keen to show what we have to offer.
“We’re so excited to be presenting our project as a part of the BIDF under DanceXchange; An organisation that’s so passionate about the development of artists and their vision. We know the mentoring we will receive from Motion Dance Collective, is exactly what we need to take us to the next stage of our journey!”
Natal by Asnath Losala
A snapshot of the filmmaker’s experience as a Deaf migrant to Birmingham from the Congo, fusing British Sign language and hip hop street dance and their love of football. Filming in three locations near their home in Perry Barr, juxtaposing the three ‘faces’ of Aston. Deaf people live under the radar – not noticed, understood or welcomed into ‘hearing’ spaces. “I want to make this work to inspire other young Deaf people. I want to show that Deaf people can dance and should have a platform alongside hearing street and hip hop dancers.”
About Asnath Losala
Asnath is a Deaf athlete and street dancer. She competed in Deaf Olympics in 2017. In 2019 she featured in HERE/NOT HERE a hip hop music drama showcasing a new visual language for story-telling by combining British Sign Language, Visual Vernacular, urban dance, music, and football, directed by Bim Ajadi and broadcast by BSL Zone. In 2020 she was commissioned by Deaf Explorer and China Plate to make a 60-second video, “It Get’s Lighter From Here.” Her video ‘Conquérir’ was a huge success, gaining 321 views on China Plate Twitter feed.
I’m so excited to be commissioned by DX and Motion Dance Collective. I think we have a lot to learn from each other and I’m looking forward to creating a dance film with support from these amazing organisations.
Brum, Babysham, Bostin by Romy Ashmore-Hills
This short film captures snapshots of youth cultures from Birmingham’s past and present. Different styles of dance, music and fashion and the iconic venues that held them – from the Rum Runner to Snobs, from Punk to Hip Hop. Using interviews and real people’s experiences of growing up in the city, it celebrates youth culture and its collective response to the status quo.
About Romy Ashmore-Hills
Romy is an early career freelance artist based in Birmingham with interests in film making, dance, theatre and comedy songwriting. After completing a degree in Drama from the University of Exeter, Romy has been working as a freelance artist in the participatory arts as well as continuing to make her own work. She is currently working with Reel Access, Women & Theatre, Round Midnight, and DanceXchange, as well as collaborating with an animator and puppeteer on independent projects.
I am buzzing! I’m really excited to be able to bring my ideas to life with the support and guidance of screen dance professionals. It feels like an opportunity to kickstart my creative journey into film making.
We Commuted Once A Day (Two, Three) by Tanna Chamberlain
Tanna recounts a journey taken many times along a heavily trodden section of Birmingham’s canal. The film is about a companionship, and ultimately a dance partnership, with a second-hand bike. In the face of hardship, despair or loneliness, we keep going. And in doing so, we find moments of beauty.
About Tanna Chamberlain
Tanna is an interdisciplinary experimental performer and choreographer. After graduating in 2012 with a degree in English and Drama, Tanna returned to dance. She earned a Diploma in Elite Dance Performance in Melbourne, Australia in 2016 after two years of full time training in various disciplines, with a focus on contemporary dance and hip hop. She has since taught open level classes in Vancouver, Canada and is now studying part-time at the Royal Birmingham conservatoire for her masters in experimental performance. Tanna’s more recent work is conceptually driven.
Receiving the commission I felt excited, super grateful to have support with my project and ready to jump right in!
Passing Time by Tyrone Williams
Action-packed, funny, filled with good historical information and with a wicked soundtrack, this film is about what happens when our past selves meet our future selves. Filmed alongside Birmingham’s famous canals, it begins in the 1920s with a cast of characters uncertain about what the future holds. After travelling through a time machine tunnel, they meet their future selves and the dance battle begins.
About Tyrone Williams
I am a neurodiverse professional performing artist who has been acting, dancing and making music for eight years. My experience in theatre began when I was a student at Queen Alexandra College and has continued through five years of working with multi-sensory performance company Spectra. I enjoy developing my skills and creativity through devising and collaborating, most recently working on Spectra’s first multi-sensory, online show for which I worked on found sound music composition and performed live over Zoom.
I am also a Parallel Athlete and a member of Birchfield Harriers. I compete up and down the country in open events and have competed internationally for Team England in the Cerebral Palsy World Games (CPISRA). I compete in Shot Put, Discus and Javelin.
m feeling fantastic about working with DanceXchange and Motion Dance Collective. I’m excited to learn about directing dance film and about sharing my film with many people.
Take 1 by Devon Nelson
This film aims to reveal behind the scenes, what it takes to capture that perfect take that is “Instagram worthy”. A comment on the toxic influences of social media on young dancers’ mental health during the lockdown and a hopeful call for more transparency in dancers’ own processes.
About Devon Nelson
My name is Devon Nelson, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Wolverhampton. I am a movement artist and budding movement educator working in the fields of both dance and yoga. I trained at Birmingham Ormiston Academy and have worked with various dance companies and arts organisations in and around the West Midlands.
I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity and think it will be a deeply enriching experience to observe and learn from the practice of Motion Dance Collective