JaNiah Cooper’s “Sunken”

June 10, 2022

Dancer, photographer and filmmaker JaNiah Cooper melds artistry and social action in “Sunken,” a response to the countless missing persons of color whose cases are erased from public awareness by news media. Set to the 1960 song “This Bitter Earth,” a haunting meditation on loss and sorrow by jazz legend Dinah Washington, the film features contemporary dancers in isolated choreography that evolves into tender ensembles, reflecting the trauma experienced by missing persons’ loved ones—and the caring connections that help them through. Cooper choreographed, directed and edited the film as a student project for CLI Conservatory.