New Dance Film Features Stars of Ballet and Hip Hop

Get celebrity-status dancers from different genres in the same room, and you’re bound to create something memorable. That’s just what the United Artists Initiative (UAI) is striving for in its first project, Enemy Within. The 30-minute dance flick features Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Matthew Rushing, New York City Ballet darling Tiler Peck, Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Samantha Figgins and animator Marquese “Nonstop” Scott, a member of Dragon House Crew.

The title refers to the characters’ struggle with insecurity—personified by Figgins—the self-doubt that plagues them in dance as well as romance. UAI hopes the film will introduce dance fans to movers of different genres, even if viewers approach the project to see just one of the dancers. Scott, perhaps the film’s least well-known performer, jokes, “They don’t really have a choice, because we’re all in the same movie.”

Enemy Within is scheduled for release in December. Visit the IndieGogo page to pre-order the DVD or to purchase tickets to a private screening Monday, November 11, in New York City.

From UAI’s Facebook page, check out Enemy Within’s beautiful featured artists:

New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck

Marquese "Nonstop" Scott of Dragon House Crew

Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Samantha Figgins

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater rehearsal director and guest artist Matthew Rushing

Photos by Matthew Karas

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Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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