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Director: Ryan Malloy and Briar March
Producer: Ryan Malloy and Briar March
Winner of the COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD
ABOUT THE FILM
It is impossible to witness TURF dancing and not become intrigued by this unusual and compelling style of interpretative dance. We first encountered young TURF dancers busking outside of a BART station in downtown San Francisco. Not long after our initial introduction, we made our way to a dance battle, where we met the primary subject of our film, Antoine Sawyer. Not only was Antoine an amazing dancer, but his story acutely demonstrated the power of creativity and self-expression to triumph over violence and hatred.
We quickly learned that TURF dancing had not just saved Antoine, but had also saved countless other teens who turned to it and away from the violence prevalent in many urban neighborhoods around the Bay Area. The name TURF dancing is based on the acronym for the term “taking up room on the floor,” which accurately reflects one of the basic tenets of the dance style: dancers make themselves as undeniably visible as possible as they pour out stunning interpretive moves, drawing on the stones of their daily lives, in an explosion of creative expression. No matter how our lives may differ from the dancers we met, we shared with them a basic desire to tell the important stories of our lives and communities.
After completing the film, we were honored to screen it at the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation, the community center where Antoine often practices, to help inspire the next generation of dancers.
RELATED CATEGORIESyouth, Media That Matters 11,
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