Director: Kate Duhamel
Choreography: Yuri Zhukov
Dancers: Jeremy Bannan-Neches, Sean Bennett, Kim Braylock, Damir Emric, James Graham, Jordan Hammond, Nick Korkos, Pauli Magierek, Jonathan Mangosing, Alexsandra Meijer, Emma Powers, Alison Stroming
Director of Photography: Austin Rhodes
First Assistant Camera: Ethan Johnson
Key Grip: Marc Anderson
Jib Operator: Joe Victoria
Grip: Jose Villaluna
Editor: Clayton Worfolk
Visual Effects Editor: Paul Fuller
Assistant Producer: Margaret Karl


Bristol Museum for the Death: The Human Experience exhibition - 24 October 2015—13 March, 2016

dirge - a funeral dance

Dirge is a modern interpretation of a funeral dance. Commissioned by The Ballet Boyz and Broadcast as part of Channel 4’s Random Acts Series, UK.

“Dirge” was commissioned by The Ballet Boyz, Billy and Michael, for Channel 4 in the UK and aired on March 6th, 2014. They originally asked me to submit three ideas, and while I thought my concept for “Dirge” was too raw or personal to be of interest to others, it’s the one they chose. The idea had come to me as I was thinking about the best way I could imagine to honor all that was good in my declining father’s complicated and colorful life. As things go, my father passed away just as this film aired – a coincidence that gave me the sense of having managed to find the voice I was seeking at the right time. Dirge was big and complicated to make, with 12 dancers in a freezing outdoor location, challenging camera moves and graphic effects. It seemed an appropriate undertaking for his big personality and complicated life, and I hope it achieves the beauty that his life represents to me. Thank you to all who participated in this project – I hope it will spread a sense of peace that it’s given to me.

the challenge

Creating a real looking bottomless hole around which dancer’s move. (To me, the hole symbolizes the infinite unknown beyond our lives on Earth.)