Jamiel Laurence - Dancer. Choreographer. Filmmaker.
This past summer with theaters and artists suffering from the pandemic shutdowns, dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Jamiel Laurence launched #FundFreelanceDance. This crowdfunding initiative was set up to get freelance dance artists and their supporting artists & services back into the studio safely, returned to their craft and back working on paid engagements.
Learn more about Jamiel Laurence and his journey in mobile filmmaking below:
(Updated November 2, 2020)
Early in 2019, a short film caught our attention on social media: BENCHED. It's a dance piece featuring Glasgow born dancer Jamiel Reid. It was filmed within the grounds of the iconic Kelvingrove Park. The piece takes a look at themes of isolation, anxiety and frustration. This short was entirely shot on iPhone X using a Moondog Labs 1.33X Anamorphic Lens.
The director of this film is also the choreographer. His name is Jamiel Laurence.
Jamiel was born in London, England and trained at The Arts Educational School Tring Park, as well as receiving two years of musical training in 2006-2007 at the Trinity College of Music in Greenwich. His classical training was received at Central School of Ballet between 2007 – 2009 and Jamiel joined Scottish Ballet in 2009, becoming a Soloist in 2016.
In 2017, Jamiel was selected for the 'SB Creates' Scottish Ballet Choreographic Mentorship Programme and throughout 2018, Jamiel began exploring capturing and producing his own work using a variety of modern mobile film-making techniques, including utilizing a mobile gimbal and a Moondog Labs anamorphic lens.
- New York Mobile Film Festival 2019 (Official Selection)
- La Danza in 1 Minuto 2019 (Semi Finalist)
- Super 9 Mobile Film Festival 2019 (Official Selection)
But for Jamiel, this was just the beginning. A few months later he released MASTER PLAN featuring 16-year-old Jamie Campbell, a student in his final year at the Dance School of Scotland. Filmed on mobile, the film captures Jamie running and dancing his way down Glasgow's iconic Great Western Road. Music by The Poets of Rhythm - "The Plan"
Jamiel took on an ambitious project in April 2019 with the BBC commissioned piece FLIGHT, an extraordinary performance in BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay building featuring Scottish Ballet’s Barnaby Rook Bishop alongside Barrowland Ballet/Wolf Pack, the Dance School of Scotland, Indepen-dance, PRIME/Dance Base, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, The Dimestop, Tamsyn Russell Dance, Shaper/Caper: The Body, TuFlamenco and Ydance (Scottish Youth Dance).
This #shotoniphone and #madewithmoondog piece was beautifully executed and saw nearly a million views across various social media platforms.
On October 21, 2019, BBC Arts, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, released the piece Do I have free will?, one of the most searched questions online. In this short film Jamiel explores this question. Dancers - Guy Salim and Anna Knowles - tussle for control, over themselves and each other, while an explosive industrial soundtrack pumps through the space. Filmed in anamorphic widescreen to capture every movement, the film is an exploration of freedom and control, predetermination and chance.
And as much as we love the piece, we're also a big fan of those lens flares :)
Jamiel kept busy, even through COVID lockdowns with two #madewithmoondog pieces.
Shot in Jamiel's living room, Lightbox pushes back against the choreographic challenges of confinement of both the dancer and camera movement, seeking to use the two in combination to break through the restrictions of creating in ones own living space.
LIGHTBOX from Jamiel Laurence on Vimeo.
Collective Stasis is a meditation on the idea of looking at dance from the outside in, as dancers of Glasgow come to terms with their current state of inactivity, and dance creators are forced to find new ways to develop and capture their work.
COLLECTIVE STASIS from Jamiel Laurence on Vimeo.
In October 2020, Jamiel released TO THE SEA, a #dance film that celebrates youth, friendship and the freedom to roam.
Set on the west coast of Scotland and shot over the course of a single beautiful day, the film follows two young men as they bound across the open beach and traverse the landscape from early morning to late afternoon.
With music written and performed by emerging artist Fin Henderson, the track Higgs Boson from his debut album Self & Others is the lead inspiration behind the narrative for the work, providing the momentum for the running sequences choreographed into the piece.
TO THE SEA - A Film By Jamiel Laurence from Jamiel Laurence on Vimeo.
Moondog Labs is proud to play a small role in the art Jamiel is putting out into the world, and we can't wait to see what he creates next.
For all the latest in Jamiel's world of film & dance check out his website jamiellaurence.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.