Watching Edifice, a duet choreographed by UK-based dancers Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Waghorn, it's hard to not imagine being a fly on the wall of an apartment behind whose closed doors a heart-rending relationship is going through the motions. Directed, shot, and edited by video game designer-turned-filmmaker Rogerio Silva just in time for International Dance Day, Edifice's seemingly physics-defying mix of Latin American dance motifs and Contact Improvisation could only have been made possible through total cooperation and compromise, each dancer seemingly grasping at the other for dear life while the camera clings to the palpable feeling that hangs in the balance.
Edifice "explores relationships built very much like a house," Silva explains. "Isolated forms bend, flow and connect to create a unified mass. A structure that shelters and nurtures those within." Through a "hybrid partnering language" the dancers created together, the film digs into themes including "blurred and permeable boundaries, migration and integration, intuition and growth," creating a moving metaphor for intimacy.
Silva's controlled cinematography and desaturated color palette temper the dancers' powerful rhythms with subtlety. "As I watched the rehearsals, I was taken with the honesty of the movement and how Carmine and Harriet supported each other equally throughout," Silva says. "There were no gender roles and I liked that they could reverse their roles and everything would still work. I approached the shoot with this in mind and tried to capture the piece in a way that shows both their weaknesses and strengths equally." Bedded in Alaskan Tapes' soulful track, "Then Suddenly, Everything Changed," Edifice is such a sublime meditation that it's almost hard to believe was the result of a collaboration between two dancers and the same guy who wrote and directed the critically-lauded "Vergil's Downfall" epilogue to the BAFTA-nominated DMC: Devil May Cry.
Watch Edifice, and see some stills of the short film's stunning cinematograpy, below:
Visit Rogerio Silva's website for more.