Ten years ago, Melba Ayco founded Northwest Tap Connection, a social justice oriented dance studio intentionally placed in the most dangerous part of Seattle so that it could serve as a hub and refuge for youth in the area. In the wake of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the directors came across a Facebook Live video of the students of Northwest Tap dancing in the streets in protest.
With the support of the YoungArts Transformations film project, they traveled across the country with the hope that they could place the voice of Northwest Tap on a cinematic platform. The taps of their toes are like the walks and talks of those chained and silenced - but at the very same time, an embodiment of revelry and resilience. It's a cry to say their names, see their names and feel their names...and it's a declaration that the list of lives lost to police brutality ends today.
Co-Directed by DENZEL BOYD, TYLER RABINOWITZ and JOSEPH WEBB
Produced and Edited by TYLER RABINOWITZ
Starring JOSEPH WEBB and the NORTHWEST TAP CONNECTION
Executive Produced by THE NATIONAL YOUNGARTS FOUNDATION
Choreography by SHAKIAH DANIELSON
Music by JANELLE MONAE and WONDALAND RECORDS (2015) - USED BY PERMISSION
Production Design/Art Direction by DENZEL BOYD
Director of Photography OREN SOFFER - orensoffer.com
Colorist ERIK CHOQUETTE - erikmchoquette.com
Sound Designer WILL MAYO - willmayofilm.com
Foley Art - MIHIR CHITALE
Foley Assistant - KURT CSOLAK
1st AC GUY STALEY
Gaffer NOAH MARTIN
Sound Mixer NICK ABERCROMBIE
Parents and Faculty of Northwest Tap Connection
Seattle Public Schools
Northwest Camera Co.
"Transformations” is a new commissioning initiative that celebrates the unique, collaborative, and interdisciplinary nature of National YoungArts Foundation's mission by pairing alumni across artistic disciplines to create new works documented on film.
The National YoungArts Foundation identifies and nurtures the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts and assists them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. YoungArts aspires to create a community of alumni that provides a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.
More about the YoungArts Transformations film project: transformations.youngarts.org
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