Thursday, June 28, 2012

Filmmaker hopes to feature 3 NCDT dancers

A Colorado filmmaker is creating a documentary about three members of N.C. Dance Theatre, and she has turned to crowdfunding to help her put on the finishing touches. 

"Strength and Beauty" is the title and the theme of the film -- a group portrait of three ballerinas -- that Chelsea Wayant has gotten to the editing stage. She has posted her project on the funding site Kickstarter in hopes of raising $6,000 to get it to the screen.   

Chelsea Wayant is a onetime ballet student who held onto her love of dance after her career aspirations turned toward film. She has a bachelor's degree in filmmaking from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master of fine arts from UNC Greensboro. Her first feature film won the prize for best narrative feature at the 2009 Ava Gardner Independent Film Festival in Smithfield. 

Beginning in March 2011, Wayant shot more than 40 hours of film at NCDT.  Wayant focused on three dancers who stood at different stages of their lives: Melissa Anduiza, just getting started as a professional; Alessandra Ball, in mid-career and preparing to star in "Sleeping Beauty"; and Traci Gilchrest, a veteran who was beginning to taper off. 

By introducing audiences to the three ballerinas, Wayant wants to "give voice to an icon that is in danger of disappearing from our society," she says in her Kickstarter appeal. 

The $6,000 she seeks would pay for a sound-editing specialist and help with film-contest fees. Pledges are nearly $1,200, and the Kickstarter deadline is July 9. Check out her proposal and site and see what you think about donating. If she's lucky, maybe she'll come back to Charlotte with a film to show.