Last year around Christmas, a family friend asked me if I would like to bring my kids to a theatrical production of Cinderella in Philadelphia. I wasn’t sure if my kids would be up to sitting through an entire play, they were 3 and 5 at the time, but I was assured that the production was actually geared towards children. So without very much more information, we headed off to see Cinderella one chilly winter night.
This was my first introduction to Enchantment Theatre Company. They did Cinderella in a totally unique way that kept both me and my children fixated for the entire performance. Enchantment heavily uses full body puppets, masks, and music to convey the story. The acting is driven by a fixed soundtrack with minimal narration and the story is largely told in movements which engages the audience, whether they’re old parents like me, young children, children with disabilities, or those on the spectrum. Needless to say, we had a blast.
A few weeks later as I was pounding the pavement for videography work, I thought, “Why not call Enchantment Theatre Company?” I enjoy lots of different kinds of videography work, but the prospect of working with such a visually stimulating organization was very exciting. After leaving a short message describing what I do, I was delighted to get a call back from Landis Smith, Producing Artistic Director and founder of Enchantment Theatre Company.
We hit it off, and a couple months later he asked me to come in and create a short video of the choreography work that they were developing for their new production, ‘Sylvester And The Magic Pebble’. Enchantment Theatre Co. travels all across the country performing their shows, and they wanted something to wet the appetites of the booking agents for the various venues that they perform at across the country.
Landis was a great host, and I got a behind the scenes view of the development of about 5 linear minutes of choreography for the new production. It was really cool to get a fly on the wall view of what goes into making a show. The funny thing is that as I was shooting, there wasn’t even any music in place yet. The Director, Choreographer and Actors were all just collaborating on how best to convey the story through movement. After shooting wrapped, I was given a rough draft of a couple pieces of music that the composer had been working on for the production, and I went back to my editing room to do my magic. It was a blast doing my own bit of choreography in the edits: matching motion to the previously unknown sound.
In another week or so, I will start the process of documenting the entire finished production complete with costumes masks and music. I’m charged with editing out a short promotional piece to be used in commercials across the country by the local theater organizations that will be hosting Enchantment Theatre Company’s production of ‘Sylvester And The Magic Pebble’. Great exposure for me huh?
Check out the Choreography Video below. I’m really happy with how it came out! What do you think?