First Try

Written and directed by Broadway choreographer, Josh Prince, First Try invites audiences to lean in to the art form of choreography by sharing the hopes and dreams of the intrepid artists who make dance. Prince reflects on his days founding the unique Manhattan-based dance incubator, Dance Lab New York, and we meet three choreographers on their individual journeys through the Lab as they each confront the challenges of choreographing while in quarantine. Buttressed by footage and interviews with Dance Lab alumni, the film serves as an inspiring love letter to dance makers and an invitation for everyone to consider the people behind the dances we see.

  • Josh Prince
    Broadway: Shrek, The Musical; Beautiful-The Carole King Musical
  • Josh Prince
  • Claire Buffie
    Raw Pieces, Fully Furnished, Abbie Stonehenge, The Circus in Winter
  • Tilly Evans-Krueger
    Key Cast
  • Ja' Malik
    Key Cast
  • Ariel Rivka
    Key Cast
  • Josh Prince
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Dance, art, Performing Arts, Choreography
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 29, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, various
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Dance Lab New York 2021 Spring Gala
    New York, NY
    United States
    March 29, 2021
Director Biography - Josh Prince

JOSH PRINCE began his career as an actor after graduating from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He went on to appear on Broadway in Little Me and Saturday Night Fever, as well as perform in numerous regional theater productions and concerts. Before turning his attention to choreography, he also appeared Off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway, toured the country in CATS, and starred as “Carmen Ghia” in The Producers opposite Jason Alexander and Martin Short at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles.

In 2006, Josh made his Broadway choreographic debut with Shrek, The Musical (Outer Critics Circle Nomination), which opened in December of 2008 and went on to tour the US, play in London’s West End, and tour the UK. He has choreographed shows at prestigious venues across the US and UK, including New York City Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Signature Theatre (DC), BAM, The New Group, The Old Vic, Royal Festival Hall, and The Royal Albert Hall. Josh choreographed a new adaptation of the animated film, Frozen, for Disney Cruise Lines, and made his directorial debut with Grease at the Winter Garden Theater in Toronto, CA. He is the choreographer of the new musical, Trevor, with director, Marc Bruni, and is currently collaborating with Tony-nominated director, Sheryl Kaller, on two new musicals, A Walk On The Moon and Bliss.

Josh is the proud choreographer of the award-winning hit Broadway show, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical (Olivier, Helpmann, and Astaire Award nominations), which ran for six years at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and toured the US, UK, Japan, and Australia.

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Director Statement

In the 2012, I set out on a course that would change my life forever. Having become a Broadway Choreographer at a young age, I quickly came to realize that there was no supportive home in New York City for dance makers of all kinds—even successful ones—to practice their craft or test their ideas. To address this unfortunate inequity, I founded Dance Lab New York (DLNY)—a non-profit organization dedicated to the art form of choreography. Just like painters need paint and canvas, or playwrights need pen and paper, so too do choreographers need the necessary tools to tell their stories: dancers and space. But what happens in a global pandemic when those tools become not just difficult to secure, but impossible? What happens to an ephemeral art form dependent on bodies connecting in space? Due to the social distancing rules imposed on all of us by COVID-19, I felt there was no better time to craft a documentary that would tell the origin story of DLNY and help people understand what it means to be a dance maker. After all, we all now know what it feels like to be without access to vital resources and disconnected from the people and things we love. I believe that this collective experience allows people a unique, new entry point into what making dance is all about. My ultimate hope is that people who view this film begin to look at every dance they see in a whole new way.