2018 Co-Laboratory with NCCAkron

In its sixth year, the Co-Laboratory went National! Dance Film SF partnered with the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron in Ohio to bring filmmakers and choreographers together from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. In Akron, the artists participated in a nine day Dancing Lab: Screendance residency, with three days of Workshopping and Pre-production, three days of Production, and three days of Post-Production. Both teams came away with a finished dance film that screened at the 2018 Festival. NCCAkron was excited to be co-producing with us as part of their process oriented approach to advance dance and choreographic craft.

Team 1

Erin Brown Thomas, 2018 Co-Laboratory

Erin Brown Thomas

Erin Brown Thomas is a director/writer/editor, whose work in film has taken her across the United States and around the globe. She’s had the privilege of working in one or several capacities on projects with Selena Gomez, Eminem, Topher Grace, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, The Olsen Twins, Casey Wilson, Tony Hale, Andy Richter, Reggie Watts, & SNL’s Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett. Her commercial clients have included the United States Marine Corp, the J. Walter Thompson ad agency, Interscope Records, Universal Music Group, Radio Disney, Belvedere Vodka, Apartment Therapy, Refinery 29, Gensler, and Nestle. In 2017 she co-founded Salute Your Shorts Film Festival in Los Angeles. As Artistic Director, she curated an outstanding group of films, several of which have since become Oscar Short-listed. Her most recent short, Rekindled, has played 38 festivals. She also edited the film TOKYO PROJECT for Executive Producer Lena Dunham (Girls), and Emmy winning director Richard Shepard, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

Mike Esperanza, 2018 Co-Laboratory

Mike Esperanza

Born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Southern California, Mike Esperanza has established himself as a sought after teacher and choreographer. His works have been commissioned by prestigious universities and dance companies including LA Contemporary Dance Company in Los Angeles, CA and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in Dallas, TX. In 2005, Mike was awarded the "Dance: Creation for Performance" grant presented by Dance/USA and the Irvine Foundation. Mike has also been a finalist at the Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 taking second place in 2009 and winning the paid engagement award in 2010. In 2011 Mike was part of the "Innerstate" roster presented by ODC Theater and funded by the Irvine Foundation. The program allowed his company, BARE Dance Company, to tour multiple cities in California and present the Lester Horton nominated show "Manhatttan". In 2014, Mike received the Steps Repertory Ensemble Commission award at the Reverb Dance Festival and became the recipient of the CUNY Dance Initiative grant creating a new for work, VENOMOUS, for LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Mike Currently teaches at Peridance, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and guest teaches at EDGE Performing Arts.

Team 2

Morgan Wise Headshot, 2018 Co-Laboratory

Morgan Wise

Trained at NYU and the Art Center: College of Design, writer/director Morgan Wise has filmed music videos and commercial campaigns for global clients including Capitol Records, EMI, Universal Music, Sony, and Google, among other brands. His work has been featured on MTV, VH1, and the IFC Film Channel, reaching over 300 million views worldwide. A finalist for Paramount’s Writers Project and the Nicholl Fellowship, Morgan was awarded the San Francisco Film Society’s prestigious Grant for Screenwriting for his feature project, Western Addition.

Nicole Klaymoon Headshot, 2016 Co-Laboratory Artist

Nicole Klaymoon

Nicole Klaymoon is the Founder/Artistic Director of the Embodiment Project, a dance company that interweaves street dance, live song, documentary theater, and spoken-word to create emotionally transparent narratives that serve as unifying political acts. Klaymoon is currently a resident choreographer at the ODC Theater and received a B.A. in Dance from UCLA and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Klaymoon is currently a resident choreographer at the ODC Theater.

“You can have a first encounter with an artist who pushes you right to the edge of your seat… such was the case with Nicole Klaymoon.” — SF Bay Guardian

2018 Co-Laboratory with Alexander Ekman

SFDFF commissioned the renowned choreographer Alexander Ekman (A Swan Lake with the Norwegian National Ballet, Midsummer Nights Dream with the Royal Swedish Ballet and Play with the Paris Opera Ballet) to collaborate with his favorite filmmaker T.M. Rives and create a short dance film for SFDFF’s 9th annual festival.

Ekman and Rives shot in multiple San Francisco locations during the first week in May. Ekman who joined four Bay-Area dancers in exploring the concept of “Joy” will work with Rives to deliver the short film (approximately 5 – 8 minutes in length) in time for its premiere at SFDFF’s October festival.

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Alexander Ekman, 2018 Co-Laboratory Artist

Alexander Ekman

Alexander Ekman is a freelance director / choreographer, known for his fast paced timing and witty humor and clever transitions. He aims to create work which the majority can connect to, finding subjects that we can all relate to. Since 2006 he has devoted his time creating pieces which both entertain and question the observer. He aims to transform the atmosphere in the auditorium and to always surprise the audience. “The most important question I always ask myself before I begin creating a new work is, why do we need this piece?”

T.M. Rives, 2018 Co-Laboratory

T.M. Rives

T.M. Rives is a writer-photographer and occasional filmmaker who lives in New York City and works everywhere. You can see some of what he’s up to at tmrives.com