“I *heart* NY” has a whole new meaning. The *heart* doesn’t just mean “love.” It represents a host of conflicting emotions…fear, longing, hope, sadness, gratitude, pride, and so, so much more. The pandemic seemed to suck the life out of our magical city. The hustle and bustle slowed to a stop, busy streets became empty, Broadway lights went dark, and all of the noise, music, chatter, and traffic fell eerily silent. With businesses closing, friends moving away, and no certainty in what the future might hold, it’s easy to feel unsettled in this city we are all so connected to and honored to call “home.”
Al Blackstone recently choreographed a (safe and socially-distanced) piece of choreography for his first dance film. “La Vista” is “a love letter to New York and a meditation on the last five months,” says Al. Performed in one remarkable take by married couple, Ida Saki and Marc Cardarelli, the duet ebbs and flows, inhales, holds its breath, and exhales with all of the conflicting, honest, difficult, and beautiful feelings that New Yorkers are sifting through right now. Coupled with organic partnering (that looks so effortless outside on the sidewalk and with a metal railing), an enchanting song by J.E. Sunde, seamless cinematography, and a view of the skyline that will somehow always take our breath away, experiencing “La Vista” is immensely cathartic.
“I think it kind of speaks for itself really,” adds Al. The film certainly does. But “La Vista” will also affect each viewer somewhat differently. Watching the film, I found myself subconsciously breathing in rhythm with the dancers. I got goosebumps when the speedboat crossed the water. And just like the song, the edges of my mouth curled up into a smile at the end of the film as the frame panned up and out. All those complicated feelings are still there, but I feel more grounded knowing that I’m not alone. Thank you, Al.