To Your Constant Embrace, The Cloud Stream Sways

"To Your Constant Embrace, The Cloud Stream Sways" is a dance and music film from the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble that explores the idea of being alone together. The film invites us into an inspiring and overlapping world of interaction across 5 cities in 4 different countries. The short features choreography, editing and costumes by Michele Brangwen and music composed and arranged by Danielle Reich. Performed by Robin Gilbert, Yuritzi Govea, Cristian Laverde König, Michele Brangwen, dancers; Danielle Reich, voice; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Thomas Helton, bass; Anders Mogensen, drums.

There is a famous song by Cuban composer Silvio Rodriguez called "Rabo de Nube," which describes a cloud that comes down to earth and collects up all the sadness and returns it to the sky. In the choreography there are movements that suggest a collecting and releasing, most noticeably in what the hands do as the body is moving through space. The performers had this image in mind of the cloud that sweeps up these feelings of sadness, of anxiety, and releases them.

  • Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble
  • Michele Brangwen
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Colombia, Mexico, United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Michele Brangwen

I began creating dance and music works for the camera in the 1990's. My "Amelia," filmed on location at the Hooks airport, was shown in the Long Island Film Festival, at Memorial Hall in Atchison Kansas as part of the Amelia Earhart Centennial Celebration, and excerpts were featured on Houston Public Television. From 2001 to 2011 I had the honor of collaborating extensively with Mexican filmmaker Yunuen Perez Vertti. I would create the dance for the camera, suggest angles and make rough cuts, she would film and we would edit together. Our work took us to Sweden for a commission from Norrbottens Musiken, with the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble collaborating with the musicians of the Norrbotten Big Band. In 2011 when Yunuen and I ended up on different coasts, I began to film with a camera donated to me by Peter Josyph at Lost Medallion Productions (the same camera that roamed the post 9/11 devastation of Lower Manhattan and filmed his award-winning documentary Liberty Street: Alive at Ground Zero), and edit on professional software given to me by Bob Belden, a legendary composer, arranger and producer, who told me film everything. I have spent the past 25 years learning my craft and creating imagery for the screen.
My most recent project, "A Week In Hamburg: Rehearsing & Performing Tim Hagans' A Conversation" features the incredible musicians of NDR Bigband, also known as the Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra. Billed as a big band of soloists, the artists perform "A Conversation," a suite by Grammy-nominated composer and trumpeter Tim Hagans, who also conducts and solos. This film follows the band as they rehearse and perform this unique composition that reconfigures the traditional placement on stage of the musicians to facilitate wild and inspired musical conversation. Performers discuss their connection to the music and to each other. Filmed in October 2021 during pandemic, the work chronicles musicians coming together to make art during a time when it is needed most.
I curated and produced three seasons of ARTCAST, an internet TV series that featured dance, music and film from multiple cities.

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