Burden Halved

Four dancers, each bearing their own burden, find comfort when their isolated experiences converge in a lush, emotionally intense exchange.

A film by Kitty McNamee and Lara Schnitger.

  • Kitty McNamee
  • Lara Schnitger
  • Kitty McNamee
    The Yellow Room
  • Lara Schnitger
  • Lara Schnitger
    Art Director
  • Flea
    Solo Bass Extrapolation
  • Reshma Gajjar
    Key Cast
  • Zak Schlegel
    Key Cast
  • Raymond Ejiofor
    Key Cast
  • Derek Schiesel
    Key Cast
  • Pavel Yatsenko
    Director of Photography
  • Lori Lovoy-Goran
  • Adam King
    Sound Design
  • Majd Mazin
    First AC
  • Meeno Peluce
  • Julie Schmid
    Associate Producer
  • Kourtnie Labay
    Production Assistants
  • Miyuki Kawamura
    Production Assistants
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Dance, Experimental, Art, music
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 10, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED 5K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Screendance Festival
    April 29, 2019
    World Premiere
  • On Art Film Festival
    July 1, 2019
  • Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival
    Seattle, WA
    United States
    July 26, 2019
  • Hollyshorts Film Festival
    Hollywood, CA
    United States
    August 10, 2019
  • Skyline Indie Film Fest
    Winchester, VA
    United States
    September 12, 2019
  • The Outlet Dance Project
    Hamilton, New Jersey
    United States
    October 3, 2019
  • Santa Cruz Film Festival
    Santa Cruz, CA
    United States
    October 9, 2019
  • Aesthetica Short Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 6, 2019
  • Cucalorus Film Festival
    Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina
    United States
    November 13, 2019
  • Festival Internacional VideoDanzaBA
    Buenos Aires
    December 2, 2019
  • Austin Music Video Festival
    Austin, TX
    United States
    December 10, 2019
  • Film Fest Sundsvall
    March 11, 2020
  • ADF’S Movies By Movers
    Durham, NC
    United States
    June 14, 2020
Director Biography

Los Angeles-based Kitty McNamee is a highly regarded choreographer and director working across media. McNamee earned distinction from Dance Magazine as an artist with “an outsize talent for that most elusive gift, originality.” Kitty began her career as the Artistic Director of Hysterica Dance Co., a consistently prolific and creative collective that redefined dance in Los Angeles. Kitty’s work has been enriched by collaborations with composers, filmmakers, directors and writers on live performance, TV and film projects.

Recent work includes LA Opera’s Tales of Hoffman, San Diego Opera’s La Traviata, Target’s “A New Kind of Strong” campaign, Secret Cinema’s groundbreaking live performances with Laura Marling in London, the World Premiere of Colony Collapse commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Fantasticks at Pasadena Playhouse.

Kitty loves working with actors and is known for her ability to draw out organically nuanced performances. She has created for Paz Vega, Julianne Hough, Margaret Cho, Vanessa Williams, Vittorio Grigolo, Lily Tomlin, Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon, the boys of 90210 and the ladies of the L- Word. Kitty has loved getting down and dirty choreographing Beautiful and Twisted, Petals on the Wind and Lizzie Borden for Lifetime. She has created movement for music artists Laura Marling, Belly, Fono, Josh Kelley, Kait Weston, Kinky, Hecuba, Nicole Turley, Henry Wolfe and Ariana Delawari.

Concert stage work includes RIFT commissioned by Marin Alsop and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, colony for LA Ballet (both composed by Anna Clyne) and the creation of the new ballets Traces and Transit for National Choreographer's Initiative.
Kitty collaborated with music icon Easy Mike to create a new hip/hop ballet of “On the Waterfront” for Muse/ique. Opera credits include Tales of Hoffman, Lucia de Lammermoor, Don Carlo and La Rondine for LA Opera, La Traviata for LA Opera, San Francisco Opera and San Diego Opera, Romeo and Juliette for LA Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has a long and fruitful relationship with the LA Philharmonic, where she has choreographed, directed and developed new productions including Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing.

On the commercial front clients include Target, Mercedes, Adobe, GreyAnt, Uniqlo, Proactiv, Wynn Hotels, Devlinhair/Novartis, Flash on the Beach, MADD, Hexbug and Magic Sofa.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This film is a true collaboration between myself and artist Lara Schnitger.

The moment I first encountered artist Lara's sculptural packs I saw them in motion - their stories resonating through dancers’ bodies, not sitting in gallery silence. Lara was spurred to create the sculptures in response to witnessing the current migrant crisis first hand on a recent trip to Europe. Constructed with fabric culled from the lining of vintage suitcases and slim wooden sticks, the packs evoke both physical and emotional rootlessness. We wanted to find an organic intersection of sculpture and dance, body and spirit to explore those themes. With our incredible cast of dancers diving deep into the story and pulling from existing relationships, we collectively created our own world. Flea was equally inspired by Lara’s work and scored “Burden Halved" as a solo bass extrapolation. Having Flea's creative response to the visual narrative of the completed picture was a revelation, it completely transformed the film and brought it fully to life.

Our film traces the journey of four dancers struggling to manage their individual burdens. Only when they come together are they freed of the weight they each carry.
Lara, Flea and I are humbled to have creatively connected with the dancers on this project, generating a story imbued with beauty, struggle and ultimately hope.