This week on ScreenDance Diaries I feature a simple and beautiful short film called Waves, which I discovered on Nowness, by All We Can Do Is Dance – aka French director duo Bertrand Guerry and Thibaut Ras.
It makes sense for dance to draw from nature… As children we imitate the movement of animals, of trees, of wind, and yes of waves. As we explore the natural world around us it becomes a point of departure and inspiration for the exploration of our internal world, a thread for the expression of imagery from memory, dreams, emotion, and more.
What I love about Waves is its complete, almost child like simplicity and unpretentiousness. A male dancer, Jeremy Martinez, fully clothed and wearing sneakers, approaches the shore with a series of wave inspired somersault like movements, propelling himself backwards over the sand. The camera follows from behind, and then as he pauses, catching his breath just at the base of the shore, camera leaves him at rest and pans over to the water, settling momentarily on the gentle movement of the ocean’s waves. As we watch the waves suddenly reverse their course and camera pans back to Martinez to find him doing the same… rolling in circles, heels over head, kicking up and resettling the sand, to end where he began.
Waves is shot entirely in one take and except for the reversal of the water and the dancer’s trajectory, without apparent edits. Beyond the sound of the waves in the background it is also without musical score. Choreographed by the dance company Arcosm, Martinez’ movement is simple but dynamic, and equally as interesting going forward as it is in reverse.