These short films titled #BiteSizeBallet featuring Joburg dancers celebrate queer love and also tackling homophobia.
Joburg Ballet has released a series of mini-ballets called #BiteSizeBallet, inspired by social media conversations about what happens in our daily news.
The ballets pay tribute at times, to the open-mindedness and acceptance that the LGBTQ community enjoys in South Africa, but also reflects on the unforgiving attitude in many African countries towards homosexuality which can result in punishment as extreme as execution.
TBWA\Hunt Lascaris and Darling Films partnered up with the Joburg Ballet Company to produce this series of cinematic short films, titled #BiteSizeBallet.
The series encompasses four films which merge entertainment, art, film and social commentary to form something contemporary yet traditional, and has created a kaleidoscope of effects.
Targeted at attracting a younger audience, these mini-ballets are as edgy and modern as the viewers' interests are.
The films aim to engage popular culture and social issues.
Episode 1 was a ‘recap’ of Game of Thrones, episode 2 an interpretation of the boxing match, the ‘Money Fight’ between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, episode 3 spoke out against women abuse and episode 4 the liberation of gay rights in Africa.
Choosing the theme evolved through a method whereby the agency creative team scanned social media and daily D-live triggers for stories that had the potential to become big stories.
Once the theme was chosen, it took only 1.5 days from briefing the dancers to the shoot. The 'real-time' nature of these themes means the mini-ballet dances needed to be energised and fresh, very much like the youthful audience the campaign is aimed to attract.
Each mini-ballet is set in different locations, capturing each dance in a particular setting - usually very urban and contemporary, constructing the context and environment to bring these stories to life.
According to the project, “Two South Africans are currently being held in a Tanzanian jail for ‘promoting homosexuality’. This story has shone a spotlight on the absurd anti-LGBTQ laws of many African countries,” reads the YouTube caption of episode four, titled Love is Love in Jozi, starring Kitty Phetla and Claudia Monja as two characters in love.
“We see a huge narrative on social media throughout South Africa about gay rights. We wanted to create something where we could be a voice for those whose rights are being violated,” said the creators of the #Bitesizeballet episode. “The piece is a love story. We are trying to capture love through the art of ballet.”
This article first appeared on 702 : Edgy #BiteSizeBallet films celebrate queer love