Ebony Williams – Dancing with Shoulders & Elbows

This week’s ScreenDance Diaries came to me via an article in the Huffington Post.  With a collection of photos and links to videos profiling nine women who “are changing the way we view body love in dance.” I found the article itself a little scattered but this video of dancer Ebony Williams caught my eye.  Best known for being one of the three in Beyonce’s viral sensation “All the Single Ladies” and now currently a member of Cedar Lake Company, she deftly straddles both the concert and commercial worlds of dance.

Ebony Williams in rehearsal
Ebony Williams in rehearsal

Besides being another candid film examining a dancer in rehearsal, what I love especially about this short is the framing – tight on the upper body (often even excluding most of her face), we see Ebony’s laser focus on subtle variations with shoulders and elbows. Her intensity in examining these small movement variations in body parts with such comparatively limited range is amazing.  The choreography itself and how she adapts to it inside of an hour is beautiful.

I’m not sure that this was made as anything more than documentation but with direction by Olivier Peyon, filming by Alexis Kavyrchine, and choreography by Benoit Swan Pouffer, I found it authentic and compelling. The capturing of all this on camera is another example of how dance and film in tandem can bring us closer to intimate details and more deeply inside of a dancer’s experience in a way that is often missed entirely on a stage.

Enjoy.

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