UK hip hop dancer and choreographer Botis Seva is the subject of new short documentary Botis Seva: Air. Released on Vimeo on September 3rd, Botis Seva: Air features hip hop-inspired improvised solo choreography from the award-winning dance artist.
Directed by London-based filmmaker Divya Pathak. Milos Moore (Downton Abbey, Patrick Melrose) served as Director of Photography on the project. The film is set in an evocative studio backdrop filmed on location at London’s Biscuit Factory.
“Dancing solo in this film was quite an interesting experience for me because I usually work with quite a lot of dancers,” said Seva, who was honoured with the prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production in April for his ensemble piece BLKDOG.
In fact, Seva said it was necessary to find a meditative space to work solo for the purposes of filming the short documentary.
“Dance is usually a live art, performed once and done for the night. But in the film you have to repeat and repeat, and you don’t have your other dancers to respond off of, so you have to rely on yourself, and find another way of being in the space.”
Seva said the experience of working solo for the film made him think about the possibilities for his own future work.
“It was really quite tough to be honest, but great at the same time because I’ve often thought about making a solo piece at some point,” he said. “It was a unique experience, improvising alone and really getting into my own zone with the movement.”
Seva is Artistic Director of Far From the Norm, where he works with a collective of dancers with a focus on experimental hip hop that challenges socio-political issues and conventions within dance theatre. He has choreographed and performed with the company since he founded it in 2009.
Seva also served as the 2018-19 Guest Artistic Director of the UK’s National Youth Dance Company – a role he seemed destined to find, having found dance himself through a hip hop-based youth dance company at age 15. Next up is a touring production with the 38-member company – quite a different endeavor from a solo dance.