“Don’t Use Me Up”, a song about the finiteness of the body, of the mind, relating baptism to alcoholism, drunkenness to encounters with the devil and Jesus, could take many visual forms.
The inception was that I wanted to capture the body of an older man on video, though I had no idea that I would meet and work with and grow to admire Mr. Duun Brodie, the star and choreographer of the video. It began by me attending his ballet class, taught each week at S.A.G.E. in New York, a center for elderly queers.
I kept going back each week, plie-ing with the geriatrics. I was enamored with Dunn, his humor, the grace revealed in each movement, a lifetime of grace revealed in his 81 year old frame.
My girlfriend, Samantha Nye, a painter and video artist who directed and edited the video, approached it with an aim to capture Dunn’s movement, his face, and the intimacy between student and teacher. The few hours of filming that day, being moved by Dunn, dancing with him, watching him, gave me a profound new gravity, and both reminded and revealed to me what it is to be an artist.
Dunn danced live at the Bowery Ballroom NYC release show Feb 4, 2016.
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