Dance Movie being Filmed in Sedona
Acclaimed New York City Choreographer and Fashion Movement Director
Michael Spencer Phillips
Michael Spencer Phillips Photo Credit: Jessica Rasmussen
DANCE MOVIE TO BE FILMED IN SEDONA
Sedona Chamber Ballet is thrilled to announce that a new dance movie will be filmed in Sedona. Acclaimed New York City Choreographer and Fashion Movement Director, Michael Spencer Phillips is creating a new site-specific work, which he will be filming in locations around Sedona. Phillips’ team will be filming in Cathedral Rock, Soldier’s Pass, Birthing Cave, as well as Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and locations at Red Rock State Park and Slide Rock State Park. Michael Spencer Phillips stated; “Sedona’s landscapes, including the red rocks and juniper trees, will become backdrops for movement as well as inspiration for movement.”
While dance in outdoor settings has been explored before, the use of new high-res drone technology allows for new vantage points and new ways of seeing. In this new work, Phillips is interested in exploring the physical interaction of the dancers with various natural environments and hopes to use the project to bring attention to challenges facing our natural landscapes. The music score for this film is a new composition by Darian Donovan Thomas. Phillips will be using Arizona-based dancers and partnering with local organizations Convergence Ballet, Scottsdale and the Sedona Chamber Ballet.
Phillips has been a professional dancer for over 22 years and has performed with RIOULT Dance NY, Robert Battle of Alvin Ailey, New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, and Merce Cunningham. He has also created numerous choreography commissions including pieces for Carnegie Hall and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Mr. Phillips also choreographs and directs movement for fashion films and composes bodies in still photography for editorial publications and brands including VOGUE and Harper’s Bazaar, SAKS and Zara.
Phillips and local Arizona dancers will be rehearsing at the Ballet Theatre of Phoenix at the end of November and filming in Sedona in early December. The film will be presented in the winter of 2021.
The film is made possible through the generosity of The TRIP Foundation, ArtBridge of New York, Sedona Reál Inn & Suites, Barbara Cimino of Sedona, and Winifred Muench of Sedona Chamber Ballet.
“Instead of planning work for the theatrical stage, this new work looks to natural landscapes as a series of site-specific stages.
We always begin by analyzing the site for unique characteristics: patterns, geometries, slopes, varying surface attractions, and layers of cultural and natural histories.
Sedona presents us with a fascinating array of attributes to put into conversation with dance.
Exposing the connections between a landscape and the dancers who inhabit it is my goal in these films.
Highlighting the scale of the human body relative to the vastness of nature reminds the viewer that humans are just one part of the ecosystem and not the center of it.
The interaction between the bodies of the dancers and the sites they will traverse is a subtle meditation on the impact of humans on the natural environment, and invites the viewer to ponder our imprint on the earth.”
Michael Spencer Phillips
Michael Spencer Phillips. Photo Credit: Jessica Rasmussen