The past year has presented many challenges for the arts. After we had already cancelled performances in May 2020, even our most popular show An En Pointe Christmas, we had to figure out a way to honor the saying, “The Show Must Go On.” Which brings us to the making of Curiosity The Movie!
The Making of Curiosity The Movie
En Pointe Indiana Ballet has had to get creative in an effort to keep producing art. For our spring show, we set out to create a film, so that we could safely continue dancing. As a family, we have always enjoyed going to the historic Diana Theatre in Tipton, Indiana, and it just felt right to reach out to them to see if they would open their doors to our project. They did not disappoint! The owners said it was the best film they have seen and hoped that our next performance would be held at their theatre.
The Premiere at the Diana Theatre in Tipton
We premiered our film on April 13th at the Diana, and it was magical. The marquis shined bright with our movie, and we rolled out the red carpet for 72 of our dancers. It was certainly a night to remember because it was the first time in over a year that we have come together for an event. Everyone dressed in ball gowns and tuxedos for the event. Their style and grace was something to behold. Our dancers said they all felt like movie stars as they were photographed by our professional photographer Elizabeth Pack under the bright lights of the marquis. They all loved the unique experience of watching themselves perform on the big screen.
Curiosity is an En Pointe Indiana Ballet Original that began in 2018 as a way to showcase all genres of dance and features jazz, swing, ballet, contemporary, tap, acrobatics and an aerialist. In 2018, it was so well received by the dancers and our audiences that the following years we expanded upon the first 40 minutes and created a full length feature. It’s a quirky little story about love and happiness. The dancers are set in the romantic Victorian era where the Industrial Revolution was new and fantastical. The costumes are all handmade and uniquely characteristic of something curious.
Choreography & Videography
The most impressive aspect of this work is the original choreography by our artistic directors and teachers. And, especially, our talented dancers who began rehearsing for the production in January. They accomplished this by rehearsing for 3 hours for six Saturdays and filmed on location February 15th during the snowstorm.
Curiosity the Movie was something we knew we could pull off because we had creative license and the flexibility of re-creating it for film; but we knew we needed help in achieving our goal to produce a quality product for our audience. We immediately turned to Caleb Blair, owner and videographer of his own company Magnum Veritas Productions, LLC. We met Caleb when his wife Hannah, one of our pre-professional dancers, introduced us. He has been filming our performances, trailers and video advertisements since 2018. We love working with Caleb because he is thorough and excels during pre-planning which helps make the entire project run smooth and on schedule. In the making of our Curiosity trailer for 2019, he spent 60 hours editing our aerialist into the footage so that it appeared as though she was actually on her hoop 20 feet in the air at our filming location, the Mill Top Banquet & Conference Center. She was filmed at another location entirely the previous year.
For this project, Caleb needed to overlay the music post production. During the editing process, he said the dancing cuts ended exactly where the music needed to start and stop. This would not be possible without excellent attention to detail by both our videographer and artistic directors. During pre-planning, they sat down and created an entire spreadsheet on just the music start and stop times. They also met at the filming location, The Mill Top, several times to plan where each group would film for each segment of the film. Due to many factors, we only had one day to shoot the film.
It was imperative that we capture all of the footage we needed to create the movie. It was an extremely tight schedule, but we accomplished the goal in 11 hours on set. Our makeup artist, Tabitha Wilbanks, owner of Wacky Wilbanks exceeded our expectations of painting the faces of all 72 dancers! Each one unique and wildly imaginative. From makeup, costuming, choreography and film direction, the attention to detail elevated the film in every way.
The 10 crew members and 72 dancers climbed 3 flights of stairs and danced in seven different ballrooms at the venue. This gives the movie a movement quality that takes the viewer on a journey. The project was a huge success because Caleb genuinely wants the best results for our company’s success. He listens to our needs and adapts to the artistic direction of our directors, Robert Moore and Pollyana Ribeiro while providing his expertise alongside us so that we can convey a story that inspires and entertains.
A Growth Experience
Even more importantly, our primary focus in all of our performances is to provide our dancers with an excellent learning experience. While they learn so much in the studios everyday, we see tremendous growth each time they perform. This film experience gave them an opportunity they don’t normally have because we don’t necessarily film in the same order that a normal live performance would be done. They also needed to learn how to tell the story out of order and how to be comfortable working with a camera a few feet away or moving with them. The day of filming was long and each of them worked tirelessly with energy and enthusiasm. The entire process was a wonderful experience and we are already getting requests for another film project. If you missed the premiere, you still have time to catch another showing.
We hope our local friends take the little journey to Tipton to see Curiosity the Movie at the Diana Theater on April 18th 1pm, April 19th & 20th 6pm. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased with cash at the door and online at https://enpointe.yapsody.com