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Ghost Story

Sarah Elgart

Staff Credit

Director/Choreographer: Sarah Elgart

Produced by: Stephen Glassman Studio

Executive Producer: Stephen Glassman

Producer: Aaron Slaavin

Dancers: Chelsea Bonosky, Albert Esguilin Jr. (aka "Ghost"), Charissa Kroeger, Storyboard P

Red Figure: Taylor Ennen

Additional Choreography: the Dancers

Cinematography: Victoria Sendra

Editing: Steve Pyne & Sarah Elgart

Sound Design: Steve Pyne

Music: Chappelier Fou "Darling, Darling, Darling"

Hair & MU: Nikki Fontaine

Camera Assists: Arielle Night, Katie Green

Still Photography: Matt Butterfield, Cary Tijerina

Crew: Taylor Ennen, Lenin Fernandez, Summer Gan, Zane Gan, Chris Makens, Sarah Grace Mariani, Sylvie Rae, Whitney Schmanski, Elizabeth Shew, Cassy Surianello, Freesia Torres

Description of your idea

Ghost Story follows four dancers in search of a narrative as they prowl the interiors and exteriors of Bjarke Ingels’ DAM Award winning VIA 57 West in NYC, responding to the building’s architecture and scale with movement.  Artist Stephen Glassman’s “Flows Two Ways”, the 8-story sculpture forming its entry, was heralded “The most innovative New York City wall work in fifty years”. The film blends contemporary and street dance forms, with the architectural fashion of legendary Japanese designer Issey Miyake.  

Ghost Story has been an official selection of Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Architecture & Design Film Festival, Dance Camera West, San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival, Pool Tanz Film Festival, LA Dance Shorts, American Dance Festival’s Movies by Movers, Art & Experimental Video Film Festival (NY), Front & Main Dance Film Festival (first place winner) and accepted as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Court Metrage.

What led you to your present choreography/dance style? 

People dance FORMS of dance, not STYLES. Hip hop, classical,  contemporary, modern, tap, bruk up and other types of street dance…. these are all dance FORMS with specific shapes and ideas. Style is an individual thing. Each person has their own unique “style of movement” just like they have their own signature. 

I call it a “movement voice.”  Part of it is determined by personality, part of it just by how you are put together.  The dancers in Ghost Story had a lot to do with how things looked… each of them are so completely unique and individual in their movement.

And I hesitate to even label forms of dance —labels are so limiting. 

We are at a moment in time - because of the web and how quickly people from one end of the world to the other can communicate or share ideas — where there is so much cross pollination in terms of dance forms, so much visual conversation... I’m not sure it serves anyone to think in terms of labeling dance forms.  At the end of the day, it’s all just dance or movement.

I sometimes use terms like classical and street only to orient people to what language I might pull from, but really, it’s all just dance.

What was the biggest challenge in this film?

Well, there were a few. 

First, we had to shoot everything in just two short days. 

The building is so huge (it's a full square city block in Manhattan) and there are so many amazing spaces in it, so the first challenge was eliminating locations in the building.

Then, after we shot, I got into editing and saw that we had five and a half hours of mostly gorgeous shots. So it was a matter of choosing which I would use. You always have to let go of moments and shots that you love…and it’s not always easy.

Finally, I was very afraid that the film would just look too pretty. I had this amazing location, beautiful sculpture, stunning fashion by Issey Miyake, great music and gorgeous dancers… I wanted the film to have a sense of humanity… of realness and soul. There is no narrative, so it had to be found in the faces, the shots, and just in the overall editing.

And halfway through the editing I felt strongly that I wanted the film to have some autonomy from the music… I wanted it to breathe. 

We took some time finding the best way to make that work.  

Those were the biggest challenges for me, but I’m not complaining. I was extraordinarily lucky to have all that I had.

What drives your enthusiasm the most? 

It all depends on what I’m working on. As a choreographer & director, I don't just make films, I do a lot of live performance work, and a lot of that is site-specific. I would say that I am very excited by architecture, sculpture, nature, scale, gravity, distance…  and finding a way to humanize them with movement. I’m interested in the human condition and I love working with people. I’m a big people fan. 

Do you have any inspirational quote that motivates, pushes or supports you?

"Less is more."  


Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied. Sarah’s collaborators include visual artists like Stephen Glassman and Gary Baseman, and composer/musicians including Nels Cline (Wilco), Paul Chavez (FeltLike) and Yuval Ron. Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. She is Founder & Artistic Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival ( an online & live dance film festival devoted to democratizing dance. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more.  She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.

Instagram: @arrogantelbow

Facebook: Sarah Elgart

Twitter: @sarahelgart

About Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival

When I was young, I studied in Germany at Folkwang Hochschule, the school later run by Pina Bausch. She was the reigning force in the area, I knew her and danced with many of her dancers, and everyone was influenced by her work. While studying there I suddenly began to understand that all things could be included in the arena of dance, and that dance should be for EVERY BODY. I believe that dance is a life force and we are all born with an instinct to move in a way that simply is dance. A lot of my work and my decisions in how to move forward with dance have been influenced by this time… my work for stage, my work in social justice, my site specific work, and everything I have ever done using dance.  I have always wanted to spread the wealth that dance is… to democratize it and help it become more accessible. A little more than four years ago I founded an online & live dance film festival called Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival ( and we just opened for submissions for this, our fourth year. D2D is dedicated to democratizing dance, doing it in public, and sharing it on film.  We are devoted to the international genre of screen dance and committed to promoting dance that happens in the public realm — outside of studios and off traditional stages… dance that explores place & space, engages an unsuspecting public, and intersects with film.  D2D presents films that explore dance as an urgent, irrational, universal language… films that both inform & transform our ideas of what it is to be human. Every year we have a panel of internationally renowned judges from the worlds of dance and film that film & dance makers get an opportunity to have their work seen by.  I urge anyone interested in the intersections of dance and camera to check us out and submit.



Ghost Storyはニューヨークにある建築家ビャルケ・インゲルスのDAMアワード受賞作品「VIA 57 West」の内外を彷徨う4人のダンサーが、建築に対してムーブメントで応えていく様子を捉えている。冒頭に登場するステファン・グラスマンの巨大彫刻「Flows Two Ways」は「ニューヨークの壁面芸術として過去50年で最も先駆的」と言われている。建築的とも言える伝説的日本人デザイナー、イッセイミヤケの服をまといながら、コンテンポラリーとストリートのダンスフォーム双方を織り交ぜて展開する。

Ghost Storyが入選したフェスティバルは下記の通り:Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Architecture & Design Film Festival, Dance Camera West, San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival, Pool Tanz Film Festival, LA Dance Shorts, American Dance Festival’s Movies by Movers, Art & Experimental Video Film Festival (NY), Front & Main Dance Film Festival (1位受賞)。カンヌ国際映画祭短編部門にも参加。



私はこれを「ムーブメントの声」と呼んでいます。これは個性と、個人がどのような環境に置かれるかによって決まります。Ghost Storyに出演したダンサーたちはそれぞれが完全にユニークで動きに個人性が宿っています。











「Less is more.」



Sarah Elgart

Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbowの名のもとロサンゼルスを拠点に活動する振付家、映像監督。舞台、映像、サイトスペシフィックな会場のためにオリジナル作品を制作する。舞台作品、サイトスペシフィック作品はこれまでにロサンゼルス国際空港、The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NYにて上演。Loft Sevenでは、屋上でヘリコプターが停空飛翔した状態で作品を上演。

これまでに彫刻家ステファン・グラスマンやゲーリー・ベースマン、音楽家のネルス・クライン、ポール・シャヴェズ、ユヴァル・ロンらと共演。Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum, The International Women’s Theater Festivalによって制作作品のプロデュースを受ける。これまでに協働した映像監督にJ.J.エイブラムス、デヴィッド・リンチ、キャサリン・ハードウィック、アントン・コービンなど。

個人で制作したMV、短編ダンス映像は複数受賞歴があるほか、継続的に国際的な映像フェスティバルに入選している。制作作品はこれまでにロックフェラー財団、the NEA、ロサンゼルス市文化庁、カリフォルニアアーツカウンシル他多数から支援を受ける。

オンラインマガジンCultural Weeklyではダンスと映像の交差に焦点を当てたコラム「ScreenDance Diaries」を連載。ダンスの民主化を目指すオンライン/ライブダンスフィルムフェスティバルDare to Dance in Public Film Festivalの発起人、アーティスティックディレクター。Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab卒業生、AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshopフェロー、全米監督組合ディレクターメンバー。

主宰フェスティバルDare to Dance in Public Film Festivalについて



私が主宰しているオンライン/ライブ双方で開催するダンスフィルムフェスティバルDare to Dance in Public Film Festival(D2D)は今年で4回目を迎え、先日作品募集を始めたばかりです。D2Dはダンスの民主化、従来のスタジオや劇場空間の外にある「公共空間」でダンスを探求し作品として発表すること、そして国際的に盛り上がる映像表現としてのダンスに帰結することを推進しています。求めるのは、合理性を超え人間にとって必要不可欠な、普遍的な言語としてのダンスを探求し、さらに人間としてどうあるべきか思想を伝え、時に私たちの考えをも変容させる作品です。


翻訳: 瀧瀬彩恵


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