Inside the Studio….Reflections from filmmaker Benjamin Halstead

First off, the dancers at Ballet Hispanico make my job both too easy and somewhat problematic – easy in that every time they move they generate cinematic gold, and problematic in that they are so captivating that it is sometimes hard to focus on focusing my lens. I absolutely love shooting dance. If done well and creatively, I think we can see the beauties of the human body differently, each time.

Judith, the choreographer I am documenting, is using a very organic process involving a lot of improvisation that she then tweaks into a set choreographed dance. It is pretty clear that this is not what the ballerina military has trained the dancers to do. The instant the word “improv” is uttered you can feel a wave of shivers rush through the room. They like direction and discipline – or at least that is where their comfort zone lies. They are taking the challenge with stride, though, and it seems to be paying off. Judith is pushing them and, as she foretold, they are subsequently learning about themselves.

Judith has yet to introduce music into their process. I am really anxious to watch what they have learned and explored collide with the precision needed to follow a beat.

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