Apotheosis: an Acrobatic Dance Film is a new video that uses hoop dance and aerial silk to explore the transcendent power of movement and dance. Bobbi Dulaney of Inner Orbit Arts spins up some gorgeous moves inside her circles and high in the air. A collaboration with musician CelloJoe and film maker Adam Behrmann, this piece is truly breath taking! Bobbi currently lives in Oakland, California, USA, and the soundtrack for this is beautifully played by Joey Chang, CelloJoe. You can find his work on iTunes.
“There is one patch of forest still left in the Southern Hemisphere, it is protected by the magic of fallen Gods. They say that if you listen closely enough, entangled with the autumn breeze, you can still hear her thoughts whisper and echo across the dancing forest.” Thus begins this stunning short film starring Phoebe Carlson as a woodland nymph who is found hooping in various locations around the Dandenong Ranges of Australia. Directed and produced by Dimitri Zaik for A Dandelion Clock. Phoebe lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and the soundtrack is “Old Wind Chimes” by Dimitri Zaik, which you can download on iTunes.
Who would have thought that a little blue blob would have such seriously awesome hoop skills! Incredibly creative and fun, this great claymation short film was made by Beth Anne Reed, a hoop instructor with BA Hoops. Her blue blob shows us how it’s done as it expertly hoops on the waist, the hands and even gets it going on one foot. If a blob can do it, so can we! Beth lives in Florence, Alabama, USA.
Are you ready for something different? Rede (meaning network in English) is the result of a 3-hour workshop with students from what they call the “Streets” and Squares” group of Ruas e Praças, a Brazilian charity. Their objective: explore relations between two universal artistic languages, film and dance. Bárbara Francesquine joins forces with Fabio Myller, Tayna Gomes, Wenny Mirelle, and Pedro Gomes to spin up something stunning and other worldly. The way Bárbara and Fabio connect with the hoop together is simply lovely! The film instructor and editor is Alexandre Salomão. Bárbara lives in São Paulo, Brazil, and the soundtrack used for this is called “Third Time” by Jingle Punks.
“Circular Awakenings” by The Independents is a mini-documentary exploring the sacred connection between hoop dance and the ancient tradition of spinners & meditators. Filmed at the Sacred Circularities gathering in Bali, Indonesia, Erick Joseph and others discovered there was much more depth and tradition to our rapidly expanding hooping movement than they imagined. Featuring Jaguar Mary who states, “Spinning supports the universe…everything spins. We’re just bringing this ancient tradition into the 21st century,” we also get to take a closer look at the circular awakenings of Tiana Zoumer, Adam North, Francie Fishman. Their passion for hooping has as much to do hooping, as it does connecting to their higher Self.
Michell Mauricio-Deleva, otherwise known as “Michy”, gives us a peek into her hoop world with this video entitled “Flow”. It was filmed and edited by Vante’ Orr Visuals who describe this little documentary short of a sort as “a creative visual insight into the Art of Hula Hooping”. Michy’s smiling face reveals her love for hoop dance and she shares how she found her flow. She lives in Lorain, Ohio, USA, and the soundtracks for this are “Team” by Lorde, which is available on iTunes, and “Liberation” by Outkast, which is also available on iTunes.
“Katerina” is a powerful short film from director Anya Krasnikova that not only raises awareness of the nightmare that is human trafficking, it quite surprisingly uses the hula hoop to help tell the story. Starring hula hoop artist Helen Orford, Katerina was an award winner by Unchosen, an anti-trafficking charity that organizes film campaigns to raise public awareness and combat all forms of human trafficking, forced labor, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude in the UK and Ireland. The film follows the story of a young Russian girl who travels to the UK with the hope of a better life, only to be sold into sexual slavery.
Philo: Congratulations on the award and can you tell us more about the film and how the idea came about for making a piece about sexual exploitation utilizing hooping and juggling?
Helen: The film’s director, Anya Krasnikova, has been finding ways to portray the subject of sexual exploitation for several years. She has previously made an anti-rape campaign and a short film based on the subject as well. Her love for circus inspired the idea of showing the pain Katerina goes through using choreographed circus pieces. She decided to use juggling and hula hooping in place of the rape and prostitution scenes as she didn’t want to show anything graphic, feeling that through interpretive circus skills the message would be much more poignant.
Philo: I think she did a great job with that. Where is she from?
Helen: She’s originally from the Ukraine, but she’s living and working in Brighton where she is surrounded by the circus and hula hooping scene and this really helped fuel her inspiration too.
Philo: It’s not often that such heavy subject matter comes together with such a playful thing as the hula hoop – but it really works and it is so emotional. What was it like for you playing Katerina?
Helen: Before playing the part of Katerina, I did a lot of research into the subject of human trafficking and explored the emotions that would go hand in hand with such a terrible experience. The director was absolutely great and really helped me get into the right mindset for the film, especially the crying post-rape scene. Everyone in the team was so professional and the whole experience was such a life changing one, to create a piece of work so contrasting to my normal style of hula hooping – which is very fast, including lots of tricks with lots of hoops and is primarily inspired by my traditional circus roots.
Philo: I know, in Katerina we got to see a different side to your hooping and the solo piece is so powerful. Is that something that you choreographed or how did that come together?
Helen: It was choreographed by the wonderfully talented hula hooper Angie Mack and it was created around a completely original musical score composed for this film. After learning the routine at my home in London, I arrived at the set in Brighton a day early to rehearse with Angie. It was so nice to perform under someone else’s direction, as you can really see where both of our hula hooping styles and influences are combined in this piece, to create something completely new and original.
Philo: And you won the Unchosen award in the sexual exploitation category. Congratulations and how has the response been to the film overall?
Helen: Thank you! The greatest concern of both the director and I was that the message of the film would not be conveyed clearly, and people just wouldn’t get it. But thankfully the film was very well understood, and is now helping to raise awareness of a subject matter which very few people know enough about.
Philo: The statistic that there are 27 million slaves today seemed mind boggling to me, only to wind up doing some looking into it online and seeing the statistic as high as 30 million, taking me to sources of great information like Walk Free and Free The Slaves. So glad Anya Krasnikova made this film and that you were a part of it. What’s next for the two of you?
Helen: Anya Krasnikova has been very busy working on other films and is currently writing a feature script and developing her own production company, called AK Studios. And, based in London, I spend my time performing, hula hooping full time at corporate events and in London’s well established cabaret and variety scene.
Those who are prone to seizures are the only ones who should skip this trip to Hoopwonderland with Kristin Lahoop. She’s spun up a totally amazing winner of a hooping video that was made in collaboration with ChickenChris. She says, “One year ago ChickenChris told me about his video idea. He asked for an exact choreography where every movement could be reproduced in the same way in the same timing at different places. I thought this would be impossible because in my choreographies I’m moving too much and I always do some kind of improvisation. But what would it look like? I was too curious – I had to try!” The end result, which was filmed at the Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin, is not to be missed. Kristin lives in Berlin, Germany, and the soundtrack for this is “Chicken Bone Circuit” by RJD2 and it’s available on iTunes.
Krista Dodsworth of Ethereal Hoops is passionate about hooping and passionate about sharing it with others, including her family and the neighborhood. In this documentary short film Krista not only talks about the joy and flow and meditative nature of hooping, but she shows the complex illusions that can come from quiet simple tricks. Warning: hooping is contagious! Even the videographers Jodie Dickinson and Lorraine Douglas of A Big Jack Film state that, “As we researched and created this film we all caught the hooping bug and have found that it can lead to an addiction.” Filmed at Eden Rock Pool and at Krista’s home in Eden, New South Wales, Australia, the soundtracks for this are “Tribalism” by Broke n Phono and “Phantom Sky” by Ilyas Ahmed, both available through the Free Music Archive.
A hula hoop floats in a stunning location in México City and as it moves, a hoop dancer appears. Every movement they make creates lines, impressive shapes and lights that float in the space as if being drawn to gradually create an impressive sculpture in movement. That is the premise behind “Etereas” by The Flaminguettes and it’s something we’re pretty sure we’ll be talking about at the 2014 Hoopie Awards this year. Directors Mara Soler and Daniela Villanueva have created something so stunning with featured hoop dancers Tiana Zoumer and Brecken Rivara that hoopers and non-hoopers will be blown away. Etereas was the Pearl Award Winner at POOL in Berlin, Germany, a top ten selection of the Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Festival as well, Etereas was also an official selection this year of ANIMA 2013 in Argentina and Baixada Animada in Brazil, as well as the CutOut Fest in Mexico. With music by Julian Placencia and animation by Villanueva, Soler, and Alejandro Caballero, Marco Garfias, Fernando Sica and Luis Núñez, Etereas is nothing short of spectacular.