Watch a Joyful Video Where 52 Renowned Choreographers Link Together to Create a Dance Chain Letter

Dance videos are hav­ing a moment, fueled in large part by Tik­Tok.

Pro­fes­sion­als and ama­teurs alike use the plat­form to show­case their work, and while the vast major­i­ty of per­form­ers seem to be in or bare­ly out of their teens, a few danc­ing grand­mas have become viral stars. (One such notable brush­es off the atten­tion, say­ing she’s just “an elder­ly lady mak­ing a fool of her­self.”)

You’ll find a hand­ful of dancers hap­py to make sim­i­lar sport of them­selves among the 52 cel­e­brat­ed, most­ly mid­dle-aged and old­er chore­o­g­ra­phers per­form­ing in And So Say All of Us, Mitchell Rose’s chain let­ter style dance film, above. Wit­ness:

John Hegin­both­am’s sprite­ly bowl­ing alley turn, com­plete with refresh­ment stand nachos (4:10)…

Doug Varone’s deter­mi­na­tion to cram a bit of break­fast in before waft­ing out of a din­er booth (5:15)…

And the respons­es David Dorf­man, who both opens and clos­es the film, elic­its aboard the 2 train and wait­ing on the plat­form at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue stop … con­ve­nient­ly sit­u­at­ed near com­mis­sion­ing body BAM (Brook­lyn Acad­e­my of Music).

In the sum­mer of 2017 — the same year Tik­Tok launched in the inter­na­tion­al mar­ket — BAM asked film­mak­er and for­mer chore­o­g­ra­ph­er Rose to cre­ate a short film that would fea­ture a num­ber of chore­o­g­ra­phers whom out­go­ing Exec­u­tive Pro­duc­er Joseph V. Melil­lo had nur­tured over the course of his 35-year tenure.

The result takes the form of an Exquis­ite Corpse, in which each per­former picks up where the per­former imme­di­ate­ly before left off . Quite a feat when one con­sid­ers that the con­trib­u­tors were spread all over the globe, and Rose had bare­ly a year to ready the film for its pre­miere at a gala hon­or­ing Melil­lo.

To get an idea of the degree of coor­di­na­tion and pre­ci­sion edit­ing this entailed, check out Rose’s detailed instruc­tions for Globe Trot, a crowd-sourced “hyper match cut” work in which 50 film­mak­ers in 23 coun­tries each con­tributed 2 sec­ond clips of non-dancers per­form­ing a piece chore­o­graphed by Bebe Miller (who appears fourth in And So Say All of Us).

A great plea­sure of And So Say All of Us — and it’s a sur­pris­ing one giv­en how accus­tomed we’ve grown to peer­ing in on work record­ed in artists’ pri­vate spaces – is see­ing the loca­tions. Ter­races and inte­ri­or spaces still fas­ci­nate, though the lack of masks in pop­u­lous pub­lic set­tings iden­ti­fy this as a decid­ed­ly pre-pan­dem­ic work.

Oth­er high­lights:

The com­par­a­tive still­ness of Eiko and Koma, the only per­form­ers to be filmed togeth­er (2:19)

Mered­ith Monk singing creek­side in an excerpt of Cel­lu­lar Songs, a nature-based piece that would also pre­miere at BAM in 2018 (5:51)

Mark Mor­ris’ glo­ri­ous reveal (6:59)

As with any Exquis­ite Corpse, the whole is greater than the sum of its (excel­lent) indi­vid­ual parts. Rose ties them togeth­er with a red through line, and an orig­i­nal score by Robert Een.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing chore­o­g­ra­phers in order of appear­ance:

David Dorf­man

Reg­gie Wil­son

Trey McIn­tyre

Bebe Miller

Kate Weare

Sean Cur­ran

Faye Driscoll

David Rous­seve

Gideon Obarzanek

Jodi Mel­nick

Jawole Willa Jo Zol­lar

Rodri­go Ped­erneiras

Eiko Otake

Koma Otake

Angelin Preljo­caj

Bren­da Way

Lin Hwai-min

Bri­an Brooks

Sasha Waltz

Don­ald Byrd

Stephen Petro­n­io

William Forsythe

Nora Chipau­mire

Karole Armitage

John Hegin­both­am

Miguel Gutier­rez

Eliz­a­beth Streb

Zvi Gothein­er

Ron K. Brown

Lar­ry Keig­win

Annie‑B Par­son

Doug Varone

Bill T. Jones

Ren­nie Har­ris

Ralph Lemon

Mered­ith Monk

Lucin­da Childs

Meryl Tankard

Ohad Naharin

Daniele Finzi Pas­ca

Ivy Bald­win

Mark Mor­ris

Susan Mar­shall

John Jasperse

Solo Bado­lo

Abdel Salaam

Mar­tin Zim­mer­mann

Aurélien Bory

Ben­jamin Millepied

Bren­da Ang­iel

James Thier­rée

Ken­neth Kvarn­ström

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Awe­some Human Chore­og­ra­phy That Repro­duces the Mur­mu­ra­tions of Star­ling Flocks

The Mis­take Waltz: Watch the Hilar­i­ous Bal­let by Leg­endary Chore­o­g­ra­ph­er Jerome Rob­bins

A Dancer Pays a Grav­i­ty-Defy­ing Trib­ute to Claude Debussy

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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