Robbie Fairchild in a still from In This Life, directed by Bat-Sheva Guez. Photo courtesy Michelle Tabnick PR
Back when Robbie Fairchild graced the cover of the May 2018 issue of Dance Magazine, he mentioned an idea for a short dance film he was toying around with. That idea has now come to fruition: In This Life, starring Fairchild and directed by dance filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez, is being screened at this year's Dance on Camera Festival.
While the film itself covers heavy material—specifically, how we deal with grief and loss—the making of it was anything but: "It was really weird to have so much fun filming a piece about grief!" Fairchild laughs. We caught up with him, Guez and Christopher Wheeldon (one of In This Life's five choreographers) to find out what went into creating the 11-minute short film.
Lou Patane and Karen Lynn Gorney in Behind the Wall. Still courtesy Bat-Sheva Guez.
Behind the Wall is not your average dance film. It follows Katrin (Alexandra Turshen), a dancer who has very recently retired after an injury (she's still in a CAM walker), as she moves into an old apartment building in Brooklyn in an attempt to shut away her old life. Lying awake listening to the radiator rattle, she discovers worlds of movement just on the other side of her bedroom's crumbling plaster—scenes of delight and melancholy that dissolve with the light of day.
Filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez has created a 16-minute film that is part magic and part ghost story, but also an ode to Brooklyn and a character study of a dancer coming to terms with a life that isn't quite what she planned. Check out the teaser below, and head to the film's official site to view it in its entirety.