Wake is a short dance film that sidesteps weighty sorrow for a rich release of movement and reflection. It’s powerful in its deft lightness.
The film starts by overlooking a small church, high on a hill. It’s a hint to the subject matter, the environment and the outdoor freshness that will follow. But first we’re taken inside the church. The slow steps of the mourner, rigid and tight.
Inclusive, supportive and nurturing
What follows is a dance set in wild countryside that moves through being inclusive, supportive and nurturing to an eventual ‘letting go’. The dark clothes have been replaced by wonderfully lightweight earth colours and pastels. But it’s the movement and the music which lead you.
Sarah Farrow-Jones stars as the person grieving and evolves through the choreography of Liv Lockwood. Sarah’s journey is given a physical representation through a carved wooden box. But it’s the emotional, figurative journey that is captivating and soothing.
Ben Glass’s score creates an atmosphere of absorbing global spirituality, which itself dances like a breeze.
Directed and produced by Katie Beard and Naomi Turner this is an ambitious film that strays beyond the confines of the screen to be an event of calming mesmerism. The shots ebb and flow from intimate involvement to watching, which highlight both the intricacies of the dance moves and lure you into the inner states of grief.
Exeter Death Cafe gets a mention in the credits, and you can’t help but wonder at the wisdom on display in Wake. It has taken on a personal journey and not only made it watchable and insightful, but also enveloping. The combination of the choreography, performance, music and images wrap around you.
This is naturalistic and sensory. A journey of life. In the process it inspires an elevated introspection and an ultimate emotional release.
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