DCW, otherwise known as, Dance Camera West gave our fair city a summer toast, hosting their 2014 Dance Media Film Festival at the RedCAT, which sits in side of the Music Center, in downtown, Los Angeles. A series of filmed dance performances made their way for free viewing, including a final live “La Bamba” interactive, with the audience dancing along. One such screening was “Flying Bodies,” (Japan 2013) documentary. The doc follows the making of the one night only performance of the Sochi Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics team who collaborated with highly acclaimed fashion designer, Issey Miyake.
The smooth operated event invited the public out to catch some hang time with panelist’s moderator, Tony Testa, and famous masters of dance, Jon, M. Chu, Vincent Paterson, and Ian Eastwood. Special guest was famous Sochi Olympics Choreographer Daniel Esralow. Screening in high res, were four best of dancer/choreographers on the rise, immediately after followed questions for the panel.
Testa started his bust tha move, around the age of eight. Upon pursuing tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance, Testa, found his thrill in choreography as an assistant, no doubt, to his mom, a dance teacher. His move to Los Angeles in mid-2000 proved to be a wise one putting his freestyle and slick moves for show in front of artists like, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, and Nicki Minaj. As if that was not the straw, that bent crooked in a glass of Coca-Cola, Versace, Sketchers, and Toyota had the choreographer/dancer do some step up, for their corporate sponsored events. If you haven’t gotten a chance to peep, Disney’s, “So You Think You Can Dance” , Nickelodeon and Michael Jackson’s final project, “This is It”, that my friends, is the magic of Tony Testa. Launching a career as a Creative Director on “One Direction” for SNL and on UK’s, “The Voice,” Tony is all legs down when it comes to dance and choreography. His vision and timing for working it up, led him to LACMA Museum installations, for DCW’s 12th Annual Festival. His TEDX focused on his efforts to raise awareness about the problems of over-fishing.
Things got real when the mic made its way to Vincent Paterson. Just so you know, and for the sake of information, Paterson directed both Michael Jackson and Madonna. He has seen the white rabbit, and opted to take the red pill. To say that he thinks outside of the box would be not applicable, beyond the X Box is more like it. “Cabaret” a Berlin located event, choreographed by Vincent was the first of his kind held there. To date and on its 10th anniversary “Cabaret” is the longest running production in Berlin’s history. Madonna’s, “Blind Ambition Tour,” “Express Yourself” and “Vogue”, wreaks of the smell of Paterson’s auric and honed skills. As Vincent told the audience when “Michael” and” Madonna” danced, you felt it. Now, dancers only move the top of their bodies, with very little to no movement at all, down below. The King of Pop, “Michael Jackson” for 15 years, put in a special request, in order to have Paterson work with his project. Together they became the hottest chorographical duo that has ever graced the stage of what we call Hollywood, creating “Smooth Criminal,” the “Bad Tour,” and “Blood of the Dance Floor.” Need I say more?
Jon M. Chu is by far the hippest Chu we have ever heard of. Boasting a blockbuster career in dance film, Jon’s ability to stay in the flow of the latest and best dance moves, is a main reason for his adaptability to changing trends. Over the top in talent, Jon M. Chu, gets, “el royale” VIP access to create innovative digital series, commercials, and live concerts. His Step Up 2008, directorial debut was much talked about, and if you were lucky enough to be on the set with, “tha boy”, in “Step Up”, “The Streets”, starring the beautiful, Brianna Evigan, and that fine hunk, Channing Tatum, no disrespect to Mrs, Tatum, of course, then your inner dance feen, must have been suspended, in high anticipation. Chu won the “Teen Choice Award” as “Breakout Director of the Year” and an award given by MTV. Jon changed his game and completely headed toward the 3D level, on Step Up, the rest is as they say, off the rector scale. The 3D film grossed 165 million on the East, West, North, and South of the continent. His documentary about the Bieber, Never Say Never, merged the technology of concert film footage, and freestyle bio, given by the, “beeb,” himself. This bold move was made popular in the 90’s,by R&B artist’s labels that included both a DVD short movie video, and a CD in the album promo. To custom fit the idea into a digital medium placed Justin and Chu securely in the hands of good fortune. In 2013, just a year ago, in earth time, Chu turned his creative mind to direct the first safety video all music and performed in true dance form in front of Virgin America. The video aired on Virgin Airlines, streamed on Google Play, You Tube, and digital billboards across Time Square. He is a digital pioneer and has been noted as such. Winning an International Emmy, for “The LXD” the world’s first super-heroes dance series. Chu continues to break the mold of what is allowed and not, in the dance world platform. He and his crew have performed at the Oscars, “So You Think You Can Dance.” He is one of the most talked about pioneers of digital dance on TedTalks. Do you think that you can dance, if so, check Chu out on the Tube.
Ian Eastwood, dancer at large, was recently honored with his winning the World of Dance Youth Choreographer of the Year. Disney certainly gives some big ups to him as his choreographed Sunday’s music video, appropriately called, “Replay.” Amongst entertainment notables, Ian can add to his slate, Blake McGrath, 5LP’s, Marques Houston and He Met Her. McGrath’s solo spot on “Dancing with the Stars” led him to become lead Celebrity Choreographer on Dance on Dance’s Showdown. Ian’s 8 week stay as a hot item and lead for MTV’s America Best Dance Crew Season 7 Return of the Superstars. McGrath is a faculty member for the “Pulse on Tour.” The traveling to 22 countries, reaching classes, camps, workshops, and intensives keeps Ian involved, although there is no comparison like the elation one feels when he or she is in movement.
Ian McGrath is a YOU TUBE success and can make claim to 200,000 + subscribers, over 25 million views. McGrath has turned dance and movement into a powerful tool of expression. Special guest Sochi Men’s Gymnastic Group Olympic choreographer, Daniel Esralow, closed the house out as he discussed both the challenges and rewards of holding such a position. In addition, Esralow, placed emphasis on how it felt to work with Issey Miyake and direct the Sochi gymnastics group.
For more information on the panelists listed above and future Dance Camera West, programs contact Susan D. Gordon at email@example.com.