Sono Con Te dance film was created during lockdown with 29 dancers from 18 countries via Zoom.
Sono Con Te – which translates in English to ‘I Am With You’ – features acclaimed Royal Ballet dancers Mayara Magri (First Soloist) and Letitia Dias (Artist); Luiza Lopes, First Soloist, The Royal Swedish Ballet; Mia Labuschagne, Artist, Cape Town City Ballet and Keenan Fletcher from New Adventures, plus a diverse cast of dancers from Cuba, Jamaica, Turkey, Australia, China, Trinidad, Brazil, Portugal, UK, Canadia, Zimbabwe and Barbados.
Created by London based choreographer Ruth Mair Howard-Jones, the international dance collaboration film aims to spread love, joy and unity during these challenging times.
Ruth Mair Howard-Jones explains, “From the first moments of lockdown I had the quote from A Tales of Two Cities playing on repeat in my head along with the song ‘Reach Out and Touch’. I wanted to reach out and touch people that felt alone, who were isolated, suffering or needed support. Being a member of the Royal Academy of Dance I became aware of the many members in far off places around the world and how they were coping during this awful time of Covid 19, and I wanted to bring dancers together to create and a message of love, joy and unity.”
Ruth embraced the restrictions of lockdown and used Zoom to choreograph with the dancers from around the world in their lounge rooms, kitchens, at the beach and in the park. The short film features the Music Apres un Reve arranged and played by Alexia Bergman.
Dancer Meagan Smart said took part in the film because she has always struggled with showing emotions in a dance, and she “felt like this would be a good way to overcome that. I was also extremely excited to be asked to be a part of such an amazing project. It was quite difficult to learn the choreography through Zoom, because I wasn’t able to be in the same room as the choreographer and feed off of her energy. The limited space in my house added to the challenge. However, it was a great and very fun learning experience.”
Dancer Brenda Estrada Enriquez was inspired because “the world has changed in so many ways and at some point it’s been necessary for the planet. But this brought many problems for humans. We the artist and people who work in art in general are one of the most affected because our work and life is to express the feelings, the reality and the world in our special way and so we need to be present for it. Specifically dancing that we need our theatres and audience. However I also think that our planet needed to breathe… to bloom a little bit again and so this is an inspiration to create and to express our thoughts and feelings about it through the dance. It’s an opportunity to call the people to take care of our most beautiful treasures and that we all have in common which is the Earth. I always wanted to speak about my concern in this theme and to create awareness about that we are destroying the Earth and what a better way than dancing. I sincerely hope this time have helped to think different and that everyone realise what is happening and that we have the solution in our hands… it only depend of us and the real prove is the slight improvement that we can see in the planet just in a few months resting from us.
The incredible choreographer Ruth Mair exposed me her idea and project and I said yes right away because I think it’s our little grain of sand to help the planet and I absolutely trust her.”
Dancers In Order of Appearance in the Film (Company / Country)
- Mayara Magri, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet
- Viktorija Sibakovskyte (Turkey/ Lithuania)
- Brenda Estrada Enriquez (Cuba/ Madrid)
- Mia Labuschagne, Artist, Cape Town City Ballet
- Keenan Fletcher (Jamaica)
- Dai Changyi (China)
- Marcos Goiania Silvia
- Megan Smart (Tobago)
- Stanislav Galimkhanov (Canada)
- Haley Beckford (Jamaica)
- Mia Beckford (Jamaica)
- Emily Chin (Jamaica)
- Sage Harrison (Jamaica)
- Ana Holmes (Jamaica)
- Jude Nelson (Jamaica)
- Anna Scarlett (Jamaica)
- Luiza Lopes, First Soloist, The Royal Swedish Ballet
- Miss Wang Xiao yuan’ (China)
- Havana Nurse (Trinidad)
- Jacqueline Back, The Jones & Co (UK)
- Alana-Kaye Morgan (Jamaica)
- Maria Sousa (Portugal)
- Denilson Almedia (Brazil)
- Yu Lang (China)
- Letitia Dias, Artist, The Royal Ballet
- Amani Khalpey (Zimbabwe)
- Stefanie Takei-Taylor (Barbados)
- Jamie Manton (Australia)
- Agnes Rosa Lamb (UK)
The creative process was captured by dance illustrator Sally McKay, who joined the zoom sessions and drew the movement of the dancers as they worked with Ruth on the story, steps and message of the work. These illustrations will feature in an exhibition and can be seen on Sally McKay’s Instagram: @mckay_sally
Choreographer – Ruth Mair Howard-Jones; Music Apres un Reve arranged and played by Alexia Bergman, “A Tale of Two Cities” Charles Dickens, Kate Cook, Editor – Nick Charles, NCDcreative
Photographers: Max Earl (Jamaica), Xu Zhangqi, Chloe Crewe, Justin Coomber
The Film is supported by The Royal Academy of Dance and many others.
Follow Ruth on IG: @thejonesballet