Montclair State Becomes a Film Set for ‘A Hundred Indecisions’

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Published September 23, 2016
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The Montclarion
Dancer Carolyn Cryer, choreoprapher and artistic director Doug Elkins and director of photographer Ben Wolf filming in the Student Center Annex.
Dancer Carolyn Cryer, choreoprapher and artistic director Doug Elkins and director of photographer Ben Wolf filming in the Student Center Annex.

Directors turned the Student Center Annex into a living, breathing film set.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Romero Marx

Doug Elkins, successful choreographer and artistic director, will be displaying his latest dance film “A Hundred Indecisions” in April 2017 at the Alexander Kasser Theatre located at Montclair State University.

Elkins, 55, has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in dance from Hollins University/ADF from 2007. His awards throughout his thriving career include being a two-time New York Dance and Performance Award-winning choreographer and the recipient of the Brandeis University Creative Arts Medal, the Martha Hill Award and an Elliot Norton Award.

He began dancing as a B-Boy, performing worldwide among break dancing groups New York Dance Express, Magnificent Force and several others. His tremendous amount of experience within dance has led him to teach others across the U.S. and Europe.

When asked what inspired him to become a choreographer, Elkins replied, “It started in the same way I started to make Visual Arts. I came to make things for people. My motivations were that, to make something for someone else.”

Elkins’ most recent work is “A Hundred Indecisions,” which is the third in a series of dance films for Dance for Film on location at Montclair State University. The title of his creation is from T.S. Elliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” It contains unforgettable cinematographic scenes, stemmed from emotion and humor. It is a fusion of contemporary, vernacular, vogue and capoeira dance styles which bring Doug’s inventive choreography to life.

The cast includes professional dancers Carolyn Cryer, Deborah Lohse, Cori Marquis, Donnell Oakley, Charemaine Seet, Kyle Marshall, Parisa Khobdeh, Carlos Cordova, Ephrat Asherie and Javier Ninja. The director of photography was Ben Wolf, who also teaches film in Montclair State.

The crew was mostly formed by students from the Film, Theatre and Dance Departments: Mike Zayac, Sammi Wood, Annie Casella, Mat Goetz, Chris Guiseppini, Jeff Elkashab, Kevin Leandro, Dana Woods, Eden Tayar, Nicole Ferrigno, Melanie St. Clair, Christl Stringer, Laura Galarza, Emmanuel Paulino, Gerhard Patterson, Amelia Spitler and Emmanuel Class.

“A Hundred Indecisions” was shot in several locations on the Montclair State University campus, including Dickson Hall and the Student Annex Center from Sept. 14-18 of this year.

Elkins’ advice to other students pursuing a career within dance and show business is as follows: “That would be finding some kind of way to continue your practice wherever it is, dancing or whatever… even if there is not entity surrounding you, telling you you are good, waiting for someone else’s consensus.

He continued, “Also to develop a certain high tolerance for uncertainty, to find a way in your process to welcome surprise.”

This project has been developed and produced by the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming. It has been funded from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Choreographers on Campus Initiative.

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