Still from Risa; pictured Risa Steinberg

How do bodies tell the story?

Filmmaking is an intoxicating new frontier for me. As a choreographer, one question seems to permeate all of my exciting, unnerving experimentation with my film collaborator, Jack Flame Sorokin. That question is: How do bodies tell the story?

I’m a body thinker and film is a story medium. To find my way in film, I need to combine these impulses. I was thrilled to read an NYT article in which actor Alan Cumming discusses his dance-theater work, Burn: “I learned that to tell a story with your body you have to think in a different way, let the story touch you in a more non-linear, visceral way.” This makes sense to me.

Still from Conjuring: pictured Nicole Vaughan-Diaz and Ryan Rouland Smith

When movement enhances narrative film, it conveys our most inarticulable experiences. My dear friend Monica Bill Barnes choreographed an unforgettable scene in the film, Little Women, in which Jo and Laurie ignite their friendship with silliness and soul-connection, dancing on a porch outside a ballroom.

In the 2019 movie, Joker, the most powerful scene in the film finds Joaquin Phoenix dancing alone in a bathroom to explore his power and elegance, self-aggrandizement and sensuality. This scene captures his metamorphosis from victim to killer, which can’t be explained in words.

Still from Julian; pictured Julian De Leon

Rather than putting dance on film, I’m interested in using film to explore how bodies tell stories. Jack and I launched our first film, Landfall - an exploration of the human body in relation to nature - into the film circuit at the start of this year, and we’ve been amazed by the response! We’re ready to submit our second dance film, Moth, and we’re hard at work on a Portrait Series in which dancers speak about life and art with both bodies and words.

To share my journey with you, I’ve been writing blogs on our website that detail my wonderment, moments of doubt and growth spurts, and my many questions while exploring a new medium. Dance is my language, yet the way I speak is shifting. You can be a part of our filmmaking here!

Thank you so much for being with me as I grow.

Still from Moth; pictured Nicole Vaughan-Diaz and Kendall Teague.

Share your thoughts

We’d like this to be an exchange of ideas, rather than a one way message, so we genuinely encourage you to reach out with your thoughts, observations and questions. Kate will personally respond to as many messages as possible!

Email Kate email

Still from Risa; pictured Risa Steinberg