L’APPEL À LA DANSE (THE DANCE CALL)

Pilot of a documentary series project about dances around the world.
First Episode : Sénégal

Danseurs à Dakar

Dancers in Dakar (photo : Calo yeleen vision)

YOU WANT TO SUPPORT OUR PROJECT ?!! THERE IS A CROWNDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR « l’Appel à la Danse »

 

http://www.ulule.com/lappel-a-la-danse/

ABOUT

L’Appel à la Danse (The Dance Call) is a documentary series project about dance around the world. The pilot will be set in Senegal.

Dance is developing in abundance throughout our modern world. New forms of dance are born locally before being broadcasted widely. Dances are then adapted, mixed, and re-interpreted in a dynamic process of cultural exchange and infinite creativity. The regain of prominence of traditional dances, which are preserved with pride and passion, is a part of this culture and influences globalization.

Developing dances are becoming hybrids through these meetings and discovery that blend modernity and tradition. 

The role of body movements in each society reflect a certain state of the world. Dance can have a social message, be transgressive, express some ancestral cultural behavior, or the simple need to feel the music and slip into a trance-like state. L’Appel à la Danse seeks to capture the beauty in danced moments. We seek to discover and draw the portrait of those individuals all over the world who express their need to dance. 

To understand our project here is an example of a movement that illustrates our journalistic approach and our interest for hybrid dance. 

Do you know Pantsula?

Danseurs de Pantsula
Pantsula Dancers in South Africa

This dance finds its roots in the heart of Johannesburg’s townships, in Apartheid South Africa of the 60’s. The youth is oppressed racially, socially and economically. They search for a way out of the struggle through music and dance.  

These youth grew up dancing the traditional South-African styles from their parent’s heritage. Those styles are progressively influenced by jazz and funk; Afro-American rhythms introduced as radios became more and more accessible in the townships. 

Pantsula is the result of those cross influences, African and Afro-American, which create an emancipatory, challenging, subversive and effervescent style of dance. It even acquired a political dimension, going much further than a simple artistic expression or technic. For many young Soweto’s kids and other townships, it was a calling for freedom.

Admired far away from the South African borders, some American choreographers and dancers went to explore these techniques rich with revolt, positive energy, and virtuosity. Today, the technique, aesthetic, and social dimension of the Pantsula style fascinate. This dance is being taught in dance schools in Paris, New York, and elsewhere. In every dancers encounters and travels, the Pantsula style gets richer from other dances. It’s a constant circle of exchange between influences which seem infinite. 

The dance can be more than an art form. It is part of the culture and everyday life; it allows escape and reflection. It unites and reinforces. It exports itself and comes back. It is a bridge between cultures created through curiosity and admiration, from which love for rhythms is the common link. 

Bellow is a trailer for the beautiful documentary The African Cypher dedicated to the Pantsula, which came out in 2012. This movie is an inspirational source for our documentary series. 

Other examples of hybrid dance styles in the same spirit as our project are: Krump from Los Angeles, Jazzé from Gabon, The mix between Japanese Buto and Hip Hop, as well as Passinho from the Brazilian favelas.

Battle de Passinho
Passinho battle in Brazil

These hybrid and evolving stories of “dance heritage”, are the ones we want to highlight in L’appel à la Danse. We will explore the social and cultural dynamics of dance in each visited country through movements and voices of the dancers. 

These hybrid and evolving stories of “dance heritage”, are the ones we want to highlight in L’appel à la Danse. We will explore the social and cultural dynamics of dance in each visited country through movements and voices of the dancers. 

JOURNALISTIC APPROACH

Format: documentary series of 54 minute episodes. 

L’Appel à la Danse has been conceived as a positive media, curious about others. Against the pessimistic vibe around us. 

The team members of l’Appel à la Danse are globetrotters, open, and resourceful. They thrive on encounters and cultural exchanges. They are lovers of dance and sensible to beautiful images. We are going to immerse ourselves within the worlds of modern and traditional dance, wherever they may be, professional or amateur. Dancers will have the opportunity to express their motivations for dancing, their relationship to the body, movement and music, the difficulties they meet. But most importantly the happiness that dancing brings them.  

Our goal is also to capture diverse moments in dance; either from traditional ceremonies, parties, nightclubs, trainings, battles, or shows. As well as impromptu danced moments, taken on the fly.

We will devote our special attention to the quality of aesthetics and filmmaking. This honors the beauty of dance and today’s dancers, but also accurately conveys the essence of dancers movements through image. 

MODERN “HYBRID” STYLES OF DANCE: In each country we visit, the goal is to emphasize emerging, alternative, experimental, and unexpected dance scenes. The ones that are carried by a youth open to the world, but that also acknowledge their roots. Those dances are a result of cultural exchanges facilitated by the progressive democratization brought on by technology and travel. Its actors are in a constant creativity dynamic. 

So called “TRADITIONAL” STYLES OF DANCE: In each country we visit, l’Appel à la Danse will explore traditional styles of dance. Very popular in rural areas, they carry on with strength, pride and respect in the face of global influences. Actors of all ages ensure their heritage’s posterity throughout time. We will meet them so we can understand the meaning and the essence of their movements; the impact and the part they play in traditional societies. 

Danseurs de sabar
Sabar dancers in Senegal

We also want to question:

  • The space, impact, and part played by women in dancing. 

  • The professionalization, the ethics, and spiritual engagement of the dancers.

L’Appel à la Danse will make a point to document and capture dances which explode the barrier between tradition and modernity. 

WHY SÉNÉGAL?

L’Appel à la Danse team chose to film the pilot of this documentary series in Senegal. This choice appeared obvious. Senegal knew how to preciously preserve its culture and open itself to the world at the same time. Whether strengthening its roots or widening its reach, dance is everybody’s business in Senegal. It is present daily in family ceremonies and various rituals in rural areas like the Serere or Casamance area. Dakar particularly is a rich cultural city, ideal for the emergence of hybrid styles of dance. .

Lutte sénégalaise chorégraphiée
Senegalese choreographed wrestling

L’Appel à la Danse team chose to film the pilot of this documentary series in Senegal. This choice appeared obvious. Senegal knew how to preciously preserve its culture and open itself to the world at the same time. Whether strengthening its roots or widening its reach, dance is everybody’s business in Senegal. It is present daily in family ceremonies and various rituals in rural areas like the Serere or Casamance area. Dakar particularly is a rich cultural city, ideal for the emergence of hybrid styles of dance. 

Senegalese dancers we’ve met all agree; “Something important is happening, here and now in Senegal”. It is impossible to resist the desire to immortalize this dance scene in a documentary series. Upcoming dances and innovative dancers are crossing the frontier between different styles. 

In this pilot we want to draw a portrait of different type of dance and dancers:

Urban dance: hip-hop, breakdance, krump, and afro-house –the community of which is growing everyday.

Senegalese contemporary dance – known worldwide 

Senegalese choreographed wrestling –a hybrid of the most popular sport in Senegal and dance. 

Afro-pop, emerging movement mixing urban dance, sabar, contemporary dance and martial arts…

Traditional Senegalese styles of dance: Sabar dance, the Diola’s dances in Casamance area (like the Djambado rythme), Peul’s dances like Yela

Danseuses contemporaines sénégalaise (compagnie Ténane)
Senegalese contemporary dancers (compagnie Ténane)

THE TEAM

L'équipe de l'Appel à la Danse.
Hugo, Diane and Pierre.

                                                               diane

This project is led by DIANE FARDOUN (27yo) dancer trained by Corinne Lanselle, a new recruit of “La Baraka” dance company (created in 2015), and contemporary and hip hop dance teacher for children in Paris. She is a self made dance video director with a very unique artistic approach: baroque, sensual, dreamlike and experimental. Putting together her three passions; dance, images, and foreign cultures, the idea of making a documentary series about dance around world appeared evident since 2012. Diane is particularly sensible to people that followed an unusual path to their identity, their intimacy. All of that shines in her creations. 

                                                       Teaser of Diane Fardoun’ work for Screenskin

                                                                  hugo

HUGO BEMBI (21yo) visual artist and talented film director and editor. Self taught, he refined his cinema approach at the Saint Denis university (Paris VIII) where he graduated with an undergraduate degree in cinema. He will be working as the film director and editor with Diane. He is sensible, engaged, and successful at creating high quality visuals of urban culture (fashion, dance, music) as well as for commercial clients such as Dassault. Hugo and Diane have previously collaborated on several projects and share an aesthetic sense and a specific way to highlight the moving body through video. Hugo strives to explore the intensity of humanity and the beauty of the world through his images.

BEMBI’s Facebook page :  https://www.facebook.com/BEMBIfilms?fref=ts

BEMBI’s Tumblr : http://hugobembi.tumblr.com/

                                                                       payaa

PIERRE DUROSOY (26yo) completes the team.  He graduated with a masters degree in political science and African history as well as a masters degree in international cooperation and humanitarian aid. Pierre is a globetrotter, he’s brought his spirit of adventure to 30 or so European, North American, Asian, and African countries. An urban dance lover; he is sensible to cultural and social questions related to Africa, and scouted for locations during a 4 months trip throughout Senegal. An experienced journalist; he has worked with Diane on the pre-production process for the project l’Appel à la Danse since the beginning.  

What is the fundraising for?

To start with we already have:

– all the equipment necessary for filming and making our documentary

– all the logistics in Senegal figured out (housing, transportation)

– a translator and guide for excursions

– €2000 of personal savings

We need you for:

– €1500:  3x€500 plane tickets (Paris-Dakar round-trip)

– €200: luggage excess baggage fee for the filming equipment 

– €150: 3x€50 for Visas

– €400: insurance for the equipment 

– €1000: miscellaneous expenses for 1 month for 3 people (food, gasoline, etc.)

– €250: post-production (editing and mixing of the documentary)

Total = €3500

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