Together we are different
What a week we’ve had here at Dynamite! Not only are we buzzing with the excitement of our performance on Australia’s Got Talent, we are beside ourselves about this year’s concept video. At 6pm last Sunday Freedom. Unity. Diversity dropped and the reaction has been insane! In under a week we have had over 30 000 views and the number is still climbing.
This comes as no surprise. The video is raw, cutting-edge and innovative. The power isn’t just in the cinematography and choreography, it is underlying purpose that resonates with viewers: our dancers stridently celebrating their connection regardless of differences.
“This year I wanted to create something that explores the concept of Freedom, Unity and Diversity,” explains the Executive Producer, Abbe Bradbury. “I wanted to show that you can be as one but still be different. You can be diverse and individual but connected with a fierce sense of belonging.”
Anyone who is a member of the DSA Fam can attest that there is a strong sense of belonging at the studio, regardless of your background or your preferred dance style. By showcasing a range of styles and dancers the aim is to show that we don’t just create one type of dancer, that our dancers come from diverse genres.
Furthermore, the short film articulates that Dynamite is a place of acceptance and inclusion. No person is defined by their age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality. This was thematically captured by the masterful merging of contrasting elements. The juxtaposition of the hot pink costuming set against the Australian outback demonstrates that opposites can be fused together in a harmonious union.
Another defining feature of the short film is the expression of the Dynamite Army. The marching and the militant mood captures the Dynamite ethos that once you join our family we are all fiercely loyal and connected.
Miss Abbe and Miss Erin did a phenomenal job producing this short film; however, it is Wil Sabin who added the flair and texture that takes this short film to the next level.
“This was the first film I have creatively designed, choreographed and directed,” explains Wil. “It was also about pushing my own personal boundaries and I wanted to grab the opportunity to make this as EPIC as possible.”
Well Wil most certainly did that! This week he generously gave up his time to answer a few questions that offers us some insight into his creative genius.
- What message did you want to communicate with this piece?
I wanted to showcase the diversity in dance, I think society can pigeonhole certain dance studios into certain genres and I really wanted to show that these kids can do it all! From age 10 through to adult, hip hop through to ballet. I thought it was important to show everyone’s individuality whilst still having unity when they come together.
- Can you explain how the choreography expresses the creative vision of the theme of unity and diversity?
The focal group choreography is essentially urban contemporary jazz style, Joel Murphy assisted me on the choreography also bringing his unique flair to the piece – he is incredible! I often work with recording artists where the dancers are secondary focus – so it’s such a great opportunity to put dance at the forefront!
I train the dancers weekly so I know what all of their best assets are as dancers, so I have spent a lot of time in the studio working to pull out these strengths – it was actually a really fun part of the process … they all cheer each other on and support each other so much! The studio is where all the hard work is done.
- How did you aim to represent diverse identities?
We went through the entire studio and really pulled out star performers and identities, any age, any gender, any style, any ethnicity, there was no “mould” that anyone had to fit- just be the best at what you do. Which is really what I encourage as an educator – always be yourself! Be unique and be confident!
- Can you explain a bit about how the setting, lighting, costumes, camera angles and special effects such as the dust help communicate your overall message?
I started with a treatment for the entire video. I wanted everyone to see what was in my head … a mini army of electric pink dancers in the outback. Location wise I wanted to showcase the vast space of the Australian landscape. The location of the video is so important, we were lucky enough to find a true Queensland beauty and the location becomes another character in the film.
The entire video was story boarded frame for frame which made it really great on the day given we had limited time to shoot in order to keep the lighting consistent. I worked tirelessly with the dancers in the studio, working out exactly what angle to shoot from so that each frame was meticulously prepared before the day. I also spent days and days working on dancer’s individual bespoke look that best represents them, the brand and the overall aesthetic. Everyone had their own head to toe look from hair, make up, and costume. The music was for the video also created specifically for this film. As a lot of the dance is bare feet we created a large custom-built stage and erected it on the day.
Abbe had the idea that “Together we are different” and I thought that separately you look at all the dancers and see this – but when they are together they all blend into one cohesive family.