Director Biography – Kate Jopson (THE WEB OPERA)

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Kate Jopson (director) is the Artistic Director of the Aliso Theatre Company, having previously been Artistic Director of both Circle X Theatre and the Flagship Theatre, all in Los Angeles. Recently, she directed the short film PROTECT & SAVE (official selection Pasadena International Film Festival, Alexander Valley Film Festival, Dam Short Film Festival) and developed documentaries with the Academy-Award winning company Stick Figure productions. As a theatre director, she specializes in experienced-based productions in locations as varied as a Frank Lloyd Wright house, a horse ranch, a beach, and a flower-filled basement. Recent theatre credits: HOLE IN THE SKY (Circle X Theatre); CANDIDE (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (Circle X Theatre/J.U.S.T Toys Productions, LA); 1984 (Greenway Court Theatre, LA); AN ACCIDENT (Griot Theatre, LA), TWELFTH NIGHT (Courage Theatre Co. LA); SECOND SKIN (The West/The Flagship Ensemble); A WILLOW GROWS ASLANT (La Jolla Playhouse —Without Walls Fest.) B.A UC Berkeley; M.F.A in Directing from UC San Diego.

Director Statement

Cruelty can happen so casually, especially with the distance that social media allows. Social media is a double-edged sword, it can help those who feel isolated find a community and it can also bring out the darkest urges in humans. You no longer have to look someone in the eye and see the damage you have wrought. Micro-aggressions and unexplored prejudices can balloon into great wrongs. In the first three episodes of The Web Opera, we see how two young men’s choice not to face the discomfort of addressing their differences leads to a thoughtless and deeply violating action. We also examine how privacy is willingly and unwillingly taken from us.

The youngest in my “millennial” generation grew up without ever knowing a time before the internet. Some of us feel that privacy is overrated, that “we have nothing to hide so why does it matter?” I also fall into that reasoning, at times. But then something like the true events at Rutgers that The Web Opera is based on happens and I must re-examine my online presence. When I do, it is often terrifying how much of my life can be easily accessed and how little is under my control. That is why I wanted to film it in a way where you are watching people through their devices while they are going about their daily lives, unaware of our gaze.

While the story is small, the ramifications are big. Composer Michael Roth felt that an “opera” would help us find the emotion behind these small moments while keeping the larger scope of the message always present. The music defies genre, having moments of rock, pop, new music, musical theatre, and sound design fused together into the experience. The webseries itself also invents a new genre of “Web Operas.”

Overall, we tried to suit the medium to the story and the story to the medium to find a way to get into the heart of some of the largest issues of our time.

Short Film: SOCIAL MEDIA BLUES, 4min., USA, Music Short

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A victim of spam and bots, Eytan’s got the Social Media Blues.

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Director Biography – Chantal Cherry (TAKE ME THERE)

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Chantal Cherry is a queer South African dance choreographer and performer with a BFA in South African Contemporary Dance from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and an MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department, Los Angeles.

Chantal’s choreographic research is currently centered around queer identity and its representation in art and media. Her latest work, Our Bodies At Night, explores romantic intimacy between two women who powerfully support each other through symbiotic weight- bearing, sensual, movement. This duet was showcased as part of the Movement Research Open Performance Showings (NYC),the Dance Umbrella Africa Festival (South Africa), and at Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles).

In addition, Chantal recently premiered two new works at Highways Performance Space as part of her evening of dance. Tribute To My 12-year Old is a solo that gives voice to Chantal’s inner child, her desire to dance, and her parents’ disappointment in her career choice, presenting life as an artist as a failure. AndHome (Live) is an abstract duet portraying of two approaches to grieving, inspired by the death of a friend.

Chantal has taken part in such international conferences as Confluences 6 & 7, and Crossings International Artistic Workshop, hosted by the Gordon Institute of the Creative and Performing Arts. Her dance film, A Bigger Bang For Your Buck, screened at the Dance Transmissions Festival in Uganda, as well as the Re-Visioning Dance Festival in South Africa. Another of Chantal’s dance films, 1, 2 ,3, screened at the Echo Park Film Festival and was screened at the Los Angeles Municipal Arts Gallery as part of the Juried Exhibition. The same work was adapted for its stage premiere, Folie a Trois. She has worked with a wide range of esteemed choreographers, including Vincent Mantsoe (France), Germaine Acogny (Senegal), Christina Towle (France), Hsiao-Mei Ho (Taiwan), Shahar Biniamini (Israel), Jeanine Durning (New York), Ros Warby (Los Angeles), Sheetal Gandhi (Los Angeles), and Nelisiwe Xaba (South Africa).

Chantal has trained in contemporary dance, African dance, West African, Spanish, release techniques, contact improvisation, Gaga technique, and Skinner Releasing Technique. She has a vested interest in cinematography, theatre lighting design, and dance film making.

Director Biography: Lawrence Fung (COHORT 707)

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Born in the concrete jungles of Hong Kong, architectural lines, fashion, martial art films, and international culture has always been a significant influence on Lawrence.

Spending his adolescence years in the Southwestern State of Arizona, Lawrence picked up Breaking as a past-time passion while pursuing a degree in Finance and Supply Chain Management. He even started a dance crew called “Pocket Change” where they would compete in battles across the nation. Upon graduation, he suffered from a severe back injury which led him into obtaining a Pilates teacher training certificate and ultimately curing his pain and developing an interest in teaching.

However, the mundane business career and demanding Pilates clientele building had made him questioned his purpose in life. As a result, he invested majority of his earnings on traveling, self-improvement books, snowboarding and surfing, camera equipment, and higher education.

Following dance, photography and film has become a new found passion for Lawrence. During the summer of 2017, he had the opportunity to work with Harper Bazaar Magazine and Cosmopolitan Magazine in Hong Kong where he tremendously improved on both shooting fashion portraits and making lifestyle videos. He also gained professional experience working in studios and on location, collaborating with MUAs, stylists, and hair stylists, professional models, as well as working with name brands such as Burberry, Prada, Christian Dior, etc.

In the fall of 2017, his first film “Parallax” was selected to be shown at the 5th Annual Dance Short Festival at the Suns Studio in Tempe. His second film “Uprooted” won the Audience Choice Award at the Moving 24FPS PHX event at Arizona State University. Shortly after in the Spring of 2018, “Angel’s Playground”, a film that combined travel and dance was selected to be shown at Dance Fest at Phoenix Art Museum. “Dance in California” was selected to be a featured short film for the prestigious drone and camera stabilizer company DJI in summer of July. Around the same period, Voyage Phoenix, an online lifestyle magazine also published an article featuring Lawrence as an aspired upcoming artist.

Now as a grad student studying dance, Lawrence plans to fuse his passion for travel, dance, photography, film, and fashion into a series of showcases, short films, and performances in order to create an unique sensorial experience for a wide range of audience.

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Director Biography – Christopher Huth (DUET NO. 4)

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Christopher Huth is a video editor and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY and usually found installed at his desk at Union Editorial. Huth’s award-winning commercial work includes the Cannes Gold PR Lion-winning Honey Maid “This is Wholesome” campaign for Droga5 and the Cannes Lion Grand Prix-winning campaign for Google “Demo Slam,” for Johannes Leonardo. He also cut the AICP Best in Show spot “Dear Sophie” for Google Chrome.

He has been a creative director and partner with BOiNK! Dance & Film since its inception in 2013.

Director Biography – Kasey Poracky (SHIFT)

Kasey Poracky is a Graduate Student at The Media School at Indiana University. As of May 2019, she will have graduated with an MS in Design and Production.

Always wanting to work in film but never knowing how, Kasey’s admittance into The Media School is what got her started. She has learned everything she knows in the last year and a half and is excited to continue learning the arts of editing and cinematography. Kasey hopes to work in post-production or as a director of photography one day.

Shift is Kasey’s directorial debut on a larger scale production.

Director Statement

In “Shift,” we’ve tried to marry dance and film to illustrate the power of art to transcend every day existence. Our main character, who we know only as Boy, is working studiously in the library. However, surrounded by the monotonous turning of pages, clicking of pens and churning of hands on the clock, Boy feels out of a place in a world where nothing seems particularly important. Surrounded by mountains of books, he is burdened by responsibilities he feels uninspired to meet. Hence, Boy drifts into a semi-conscious daze. Suddenly, he spots a girl across the aisle, swaying gently from side to side as she pages through a book. She contrasts to the robotic movements of the other students in the library. The girl, called Terpsichore after the Grecian Muse of Dance, takes his hand and whisks him away to a dreamscape. Suddenly, Boy finds himself sitting with his classmates at a configuration of desks. The classmates peck away at their typewriters in Orwellian fashion. Boy, isolated and depressed, looks up to see the beautiful Terpsichore return to him. His classmates disperse and Terpsichore, personifying art, leads the Boy into a romantic pas de deux. But all good things must end, and with a final stroke of his cheek, Terpsichore sends him back to reality. Now sitting back at his desk in the library, Boy contemplates his “shift” in perspective with a knowing smile.

Short Film: SHIFT, 8min., USA, Dance

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A studious Boy finds himself bogged down by his uninspired and mundane chores and responsibilities. Suddenly, the beautiful Terpsichore appears and whisks him away to a dreamscape where she beckons him into a romantic pas de deux.

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