You probably remember filmmaker and former Miami City Ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz's mini-documentary In a Day's Work: It trailed New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns throughout her day, and gave viewers a sense of the mental and physical stamina required of a ballerina at the top of her game.
For his latest work, On the Sound, Hurwitz went in a new direction. Rather than another documentary, he created a one-off, site-specific ballet, made for the camera. New York City Ballet principal Gonzalo Garcia and Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Evelyn Kocak dance on a sandbar as the tide comes in and the sun goes down, creating moments where they appear to be dancing on water.
Despite Hurwitz insisting that the film was shot quickly and that it was difficult to coordinate all the elements (tide, sunset, dancers), the result is quite lovely. And in addition to featuring original music by Aaron Severini, the film is also Hurwitz's choreographic debut!
Like Day's Work, Sound feels a little bit lonely—perhaps Garcia and Kocak are reconciling after a fight, or saying goodbye to each other. Regardless of whether Hurwitz intended a specific narrative, he has successfully set a tone for all of his films, indicating a clear artistic vision.