VII by Myy Jeraffi
VII is a film by Myy Jeraffi in collaboration with choreographer and artist, Ben Green. This experimental short film in three acts explores the marriage of three different mediums: the dancers movements, the director’s vision, and the musical accompaniment. The atmospheric light of the Mediterranean sun, the salty waves washing ashore, and strength and weakness of the human body within the natural world all join forces to tell this story.
The tension and release, the calmness of the slow instinctive movements, the low angles and intimate close-up’s, and the softness and plasticity of the hands form an irresistibly expressive world. This is a collective work in which dance focuses on a solo exploration of space, while simultaneously forming a dialogue with the driving force of the hypnotic repetitive notes, the two bonding in their mutual endeavor to exist.
VII is a collaborative experiment between seven storytellers in the progressive merging of three mediums - the body, the camera, and sound - in order to create a new and visceral narrative environment.
The integration of dance and cinema is something that I am continuously exploring in my work as a storyteller. This short film began as an extension of this research, inspired by my friendship with dancer and choreographer, Ben Green. VII was composed in a collage form, beginning with the dancers, and progressively adding the camera and sound. Ben and I wanted to create a completely collaborative experience, so the fabric clothesline and three-act structure were the only definitive aspects of the piece. During our first rehearsal, we asked each dancer to pick an article of clothing, after which each dancer explored the freedom or restrictions of their chosen outfit. Through the guidance of Ben, this exploration developed into characterizations that were adopted by each dancer as they improvised. It was my challenge then to capture these movements and expressions in a cinematic form. Once I finished editing the piece, I sent it over to Itzik, who added his interpretation through the creation of the soundtrack.
Whenever I am developing a piece of choreography, I often picture the work on film.
The medium of film allows for a special kind of storytelling that is not possible in a live performance. Myy and I met, and our aesthetics, interests, and vision for this visual collaboration lined up so organically with one another. I began researching with the dancers' different physical states that were born out of their experience with materials, clothing, and atmosphere. We worked a lot with improvisation, and Myy and I mapped out a structure for the film but left a lot of room for spontaneity and surprise. This piece was a beautiful meeting of different artists who wanted to create a visual narrative out of different mediums and doing so with a lot of trust in one another's contributions.