Edifice: Rogerio Silva

A Film Exploring the Dynamics of Relationships as Expressed Through Choreography

Edifice is about relationships, which are built very much like a house. Isolated forms bend, flow and connect to create a unified mass.” This is how Rogerio Silva describes the inspiration behind his most recent dance film, Edifice.

Two dancers share a stripped-back stage, in a dynamic yet sensual choreography. The pair, Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Waghorn perform a self-choreographed dance influenced by Contact Improvisation entwined with Latin American dance, pulling apart and drawing their bodies together again, in what Rogerio describes as a singular body dialogue. For Rogerio, a writer and director who has worked in various fields including music, design and computer animation, a film centred around a choreography represents a new form of expression, the natural impulse of which transpires through the details in the setting, light and in the movement of the camera.

Rogerio Silva spoke to us about the creative process behind his video, as well as other projects of his:

The Plus: Your creative background is very varied, what lead you to make a film about dance?
Rogerio Silva:
Maybe a series of very fortunate accidents? I can’t really say I had a plan to do music, to move to videogames and then become a filmmaker. I always felt a need to say or express something, and now I know that film is the language I’m meant to use. Whether it’s a short film with dancers or actors, it doesn’t matter. I never set out to do a dance film, and I don’t see Edifice as one. I like to think of dancers as actors telling a story. We are so used to seeing dancers perform in the background that we forget they are storytellers too.

TP: How did you come to work with Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Waghorn, and how would you describe the collaborative process?
Edifice was shot after Abaddon, which is another project I’m working on with Harriet. She told me she was working on a piece with Carmine and things took off from there. As I watched the rehearsals, I was taken with the honesty of the movement and how the two supported each other equally throughout. There were no gender roles and I liked that they could reverse their roles and everything would still work. Even though Carmine and Harriet had the routine figured out, I would direct them to do it a certain way, or move to a specific spot, and they in turn also helped during the editing process.

TP: How does the style of Edifice compare with your creative work in general?
Edifice is true to my sensibilities as a filmmaker, which I describe as a quiet stillness. I like to observe with a very controlled and restrained eye, disciplining myself not to act on impulses, to move the camera and follow every action. My goal is to make that work invisible so that the story and emotions come through in an honest way.


TP: What other films are you working on at the moment?
The project I’m working on now is Abaddon. It’s essentially about two lovers who find themselves in some sort of dark purgatory, where one of them disintegrates into a ghost-like existence. There’s a lot of CG work, especially fluid and smoke simulation, which plays a big part in telling the story. It’s been in the making for five months now and we’ll be back in the studio to shoot additional material in two weeks.

Directed, shot and edited by: Rogerio Silva
Choreographed and performed by: Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Waghorn
Music by Alaskan Tapes: Then Suddenly, Everything Changed