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Doing it where you live

Shooting at Short North Stage

Last week I received two emails within the span of a few short minutes: one resulted in my hire as a choreographer for a well-known band’s music video, whose last Youtube hit reached over 100,000 views. The other resulted in my film being presented in a giant art festival this weekend. Both the band and the festival reside here, in Columbus. After 13 months of collaborating locally, showing work locally, and producing locally, these two opportunities lend the feeling of arrival. Thank you to both those entities for unintentionally re-laying and relaying the finest welcome mats.

In costume

ABM in costume for video shoot

Sometimes the so-called “town-gown” divide feels real, broken perhaps by a shared fandom around the Buckeyes, but frequently evident in the tense grumblings of my neighbors about the “kids.” The gorgeous facilities in the Department of Dance emit a siren’s call, but last year I knew I was moving not into Sullivant Hall, but to Columbus. I started showing up to shows. I was fortunate enough to meet and subsequently collaborate with musicians Counterfeit Madison,* Andy Gallagher, and Caleb Miller. I made my work not only for OSU’s Motion Lab and the Barnett Theater, but also for Feverhead in Granville. I produced NACHMO’s first Ohio concert with a roster of both student and professional choreographers.

So now there is something particularly touching about these two gigs this month; it feels like Columbus reaching back. The new connections came neither through friends nor the university, but rather through the public chance of my work being seen.

The Video: We shot in my favorite local theater–the Short North Theater. The song and its video will become public with the upcoming album release. We worked with some fantastical costumes under a terrific concept. It’ll be out in a few short weeks…

The Film: I made the collaborative film Plastic Beach with Richie Barshay, James Shipp, and Daniel R. Jusino in Brooklyn. We won Second Place in the Gateway OSU Film Festival this Spring 2015. The Independents’ Day Festival will be including the film in the Shorts screening 4:30pm on September 19th. http://thisisindependent.com/

*It bears repeating that Sharon Udoh was first known to me when I saw her selected out of a theater of thousands by Miranda July to play her entire New Society show. Sharon is a genius.

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