‘What it is to Dance’ is a piece inspired by the street dancers and musicians inhabiting London’s local communities. Whilst working on another film project, Darling was interested in utilising the Old Naval College in Greenwich as a way to counter-act and challenge the traditional setting for street dance. After arriving in the early morning with Zakiya and Omari, there was a brief conversation to develop a simple structure which slowly built into a performance piece that remains true to their personal dance characters.
The piece’s chronology allows Omari and his stomping to draw Zakiya out of this historic structure and awaken her into a movement frenzy. The drums take control over both of them, highlighting the moments that create imbalance. ‘What it is to Dance’ is a true improvisational celebration between dance and percussion.
Directed by Jeffrey Darling