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Taxi! a film by Celia Rowlson-Hall with Or Schraiber. 2020, USA, 3 min. Dance away the commuter blues with this director-choreographer’s pop NYC vignette.

Celia Rowlson-Hall is a choreographer-director who collides modern dance with narrative cinema to creative and infectious effect – from her 2015 feature debut Ma to her many high-profile collaborations, including Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits (2015) and Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux (2018). Her exhilarating new short Taxi! explodes the familiar experience of a maddening cab ride into a whirlwind of color and movement, and we are thrilled to screen it in its world premiere.

 

The first in a planned series of shorts that will take place all over New York City and feature some of Rowlson-Hall’s favorite working dancers, it stars Or Schraiber (formerly of Martha Graham’s Batsheva dance group) running, leaping and spinning to the driving house beat of Mas Ysa’s “Service”. Rowlson-Hall thinks of it as her “semi-love letter to this wildly exciting, totally draining, hustling, schlepping, possibility-around-every-corner city.”

 

 

Taxi! is a reflection of a moment last summer wherein I realized I hadn’t directed anything of my own over the course of the year, which was making me feel (and perhaps go!) insane. So I set out to tell the story of a person who has a really hard time getting to work, who will defy all odds and overcome every obstacle to get there. Or not. I wanted the film to be a ridiculous and playful reflection of the urgency I felt in my own life at the time.” CELIA ROWLSON-HALL

 

Since moving to New York on a Fellowship from the Lincoln Center Institute for Choreography, Rowlson-Hall has been prolific both in front of and behind the camera. Early collaborators included Gaspar Noé and Lena Dunham, and she was soon in demand as a choreographer for music videos – working with Alicia Keys, MGMT, Sleigh Bells, Coldplay and many others. 

 

She has made dozens of short films, a narrative-dance hybrid feature, Ma, and recently contributed the Swamp Lake segment of Borscht Corp’s 2020 Sundance premiere Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia. She is currently in Budapest choreographing a new film for Amazon, Birds of Paradise, and her choreography will also be seen in Kogonoda’s highly anticipated After Yang. She is also developing her second directorial feature.

Credits for
TAXI!
cast
Ekow Brown, Emma Portner & Or Schraiber
written by
Celia Rowlson-Hall
produced by
Brydie O'Connor & Celia Rowlson-Hall
cinematography by
Ian Bloom
sound
Thomas Arsenault
music
Mas Ysa
editing
Kevin Tadge
costume design
Allison Pearce