It is your worst nightmare, the event that changes your future and stops your career momentum. The event that redirects what you envisioned for your future. Or does it? It could perhaps be the event that brings you face to face with who you are, if you dare to look. That is the journey of Fall to Rise
, premiering in New York on April 5th at the First Time Fest.
Written and directed by Jayce Bartok and produced by Tiffany Bartok, Fall to Rise
is also a crowdfunding success story. They were both interviewed in a 2012 New York Times article that highlighted how crowdfunding has assisted in financing projects worthy of display at major museums and film festivals. Fall to Rise
is a testament to this trend.
Fall to Rise
is a story about a woman, Lauren Drake, expressively played by Katherine Crockett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
), who finds her world shattered when she is injured during a dance performance. Lauren is the principal dancer at the Hudson Dance Company and the moment she hurts her knee is the moment her career ends. Gradually we learn that Lauren's knee may have been injured, but dance is in her blood, it is her very existence and she has come to realize that she must dance again, but how? Time has passed since that fatal day, she is married and she is now a mother with an infant daughter, but slowly, the voice inside her begins to emerge. Her reawakening begins with a simple dance with her hands, followed by a full body dance for her baby, and by the time she receives an invitation to attend Hudson Dance Company's Gala event the voice is screaming in her head, "I want to dance, I want to come home."
Lauren Drake may be a dancer, but her voice echoes those of women and men who find that there is still music inside their hearts that they yearn to express and how do they balance the responsibility of parenthood with the burning desire for accomplishments wishing to unfold?
For men there has always been a platform to tell their coming of age stories and the challenges of becoming a parent. Their stories are often told with the freedom to leave their wife and children, find their voice and return; for women, not so fast. Since many stories about women and motherhood are told by men from a male perspective of what a women should do and how she should react to motherhood, it is refreshing to view a story, written and directed by a man, Jayce Bartok, who is sensitive enough to tell the story from a women's perspective. It is rawer and far more revealing than what we have grown accustomed to believing.
Lauren knows that her survival is based on her not only dancing again, but reclaiming her title of principal dancer. Just like a quarterback who must return to his team after an injury, Lauren must return to her Company. It is so important to her that she cannot even give a name to her new-born infant daughter. She cannot give her daughter an identity, until her own identity has returned.
The night she enters the gala, unbeknownst to her, is the night her journey back begins. Lauren meets Sheila Jules, brilliantly played by Daphne Rubin-Vega (Smash, Sex and the City, Rent
). Sheila has her own identity and past to face. She left the company many years ago from a different injury, a scandal. Sheila and Lauren could not be further apart, they are literally polar opposites, but at this moment in time they can help each other in ways they could have never imagined. After meeting again at the Hudson Dance Company gala, Lauren is not too proud to realize that Sheila, who is now a dance instructor for children, could actually help her get back to the level of dancing that is expected of her, and Sheila, who, at another time, would never have been given the time of day by Lauren, learns that by helping Lauren, she can help herself.
Fall to Rise
Fall to Rise cast
Jayce Bartok, Desmond Richardson, Tiffany Bartok, Daphne Rubin-Vega and more. | Photo: Victoria Medina | Link | Fall To Rise, Dance, Movie, Poster,
magnificently tells their story through the world of dance. How appropriate, as dance is movement, and life continuously moves us forward. The cinematography by Kate Phelan is its own work of art, while the strong supporting cast boasts Desmond Richardson (Chicago, Across the Universe, So You Think you can Dance
) and Tamara Tunie (Flight, Law and Order
). The film also delivers powerful, expressive dance sequences providing highlights graced by the sublime skills of Katherine Crockett and Desmond Richardson, giving Fall to Rise
a stunning platform that brings alive voices who are exploring their own self-expression, their relationship with children, friends, family and most of all with themselves.