Poster by Akhran Grimay for Lanre Malaolu’s The Conversation
The Conversation is a new dance film by British director, choreographer and creator of theater Lanre Malaolu which explores the “conversation black people face when communicating their racial experience to white partners through a dynamic fusion of dance and dialogue.”
It is being released as part of a “collection of twenty short films from twenty directors about the UK now” titled The Uncertain Kingdom.
Trailer for The Conversation
Like so many worthy events, the theatrical debut of these works was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic but they will now be “released on iTunes, Amazon Video, BFI Player, Curzon Home Cinema and GooglePlay on 1st June 2020” for viewing on demand.
Malaolu’s The Conversation is one of three films from the project that will have an earlier debut May 18 “via the BFI’s social media channels.”
Still from The Conversation
The Conversation is also part of a growing body of work for both stage and screen from Lanre Malaolu who one would expect might have a higher profile in the U.S. given that his art speaks directly to so many issues apparent here in the States. With numerous appearances of his films, as well as films on which he has worked, at festivals in North America, it seems likely that his visibility will ultimately come through the world of cinema rather than of dance.
Yet Malaolu’s dance films and theatrical projects seem like something American dancers need to see, for example the upcoming:
“SAMSKARA, a work which untangles the questions, challenges and contradictions of what it means to be a black man in 21st century Britain. Through a fusion of physical theatre, hip-hop dance and text, the work follows the journey of four generations of black men and explores how cycles of fatherhood affects masculinity, concepts of vulnerability and the harboring of emotional pain.”