Experiencing Interruptions?

Dollar: A Rhythm Tap Short Film

Conceived and directed by First Company Dancer Meg Sarachan, "Dollar", a narrative dance film, combines contemporary music with a vintage theme of the 1940s working woman, blurring the line between Broadway and rhythm tap, fusing the two into one piece of choreography. By conveying the struggle of women who kept the economy going during World War II, "Dollar" explores the role women have played in the work force throughout time and the challenges many of us still face today to compete in a male dominant world.

This project was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

  • Meg Sarachan
    Black Ballerina; Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968; The Barnes Collection (PBS)
  • Meg Sarachan (story)
  • Katie Budris (producer)
  • Lisa Miller (associate producer)
  • Katie Budris
    Key Cast
  • Beccah Edelman
    Key Cast
  • Johanna Lockwood
    Key Cast
  • Deedee Mann
    Key Cast
  • Emily Marshall
    Key Cast
  • Becky Mastin
    Key Cast
  • Lindsey McCormick
    Key Cast
  • Kat Richter
    Key Cast
  • Meg Sarachan
    Key Cast
  • Becky Mastin (lead)
  • Katie Budris (assistant)
  • Kat Richter (assistant)
  • Rebecca Elias-Abboud (camera)
  • Peter Herman (key grip)
  • Katie Moore (performance supervisor)
  • Louis Weil (playback supervisor)
  • Steel River Playhouse
    Filmed at
  • Project Type:
    Music Video, Short, Web / New Media, Other
  • Genres:
    Dance, Historical, Musical
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 26, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    910 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • "Dollar" Film Premiere and Live Performance
    Community Education Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    February 27, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Trans(m)it International Film Festival
    The Iron Factory, Philadelphia, PA
    United States
    May 27, 2016
    Awarded "Best of" Trans(m)it International Film Festival
Director Biography - Meg Sarachan

Meg Sarachan's documentary work focuses on dance, music, the visual arts and mental health awareness projects. Her skills span the entire production process, from pre-production to post.

As an editor, Meg's recent full-length films have included Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968, which aired nationally on Ovation and screened at the Brooklyn Museum, and The Barnes Collection, which aired as part of PBS’s Summer Arts series. Meg also served as associate producer for both films, handling archival footage research and copyright clearances.

She has completed short-form pieces for organizations such as Penguin Books, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, BalletX, MiND TV|WYBE and Network for New Music. In addition to editing and producing, Meg often serves as director or director of photography - wearing many of these hats simultaneously on projects she develops herself.

Dance videos are a particular favorite of Meg's, and she has worked with many Philadelphia-area dance groups, including the Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, Dancefusion, Tap Team Two, The Lady Hoofers Tap Ensemble, Uniting Colleges Through Tap, the Bryn Mawr College Dance Program, and Group Motion.

Meg teaches video production at Temple University to journalism students.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As Philadelphia’s only all-female professional tap ensemble, The Lady Hoofers makes it a priority to provide opportunities for women in tap. “Dollar” encapsulates this mission.

With both our dancing and the music of our taps, the film depicts the struggle of women working on the home front in the 1940s. The two groups of workers the dancers represent start out very separate from each other—they have different choreography, the sound is different, they inhabit different spaces on the stage. But as the video progresses, their dancing begins to merge, and by the end, the choreography reflects their understanding that despite the different work they're doing, they're actually all in it together—as women and as war workers.

Once I saw Becky Mastin's nuanced choreography, it was easy to visualize what I wanted the video to look like. I mapped out every shot on a storyboard—over 80 index cards with drawings of dancers and tap shoes. I hope viewers will not only enjoy the film, but will take away the still relevant message that women can come together to make important contributions during difficult times.