A woman, alone on a beach, performs an interpretative dance in the short film Into Unbrokenness by Emma Holbrook. Check out our thoughts.
We have reviewed thousands of short films over the years; from thrillers to comedies, dramas to horror, though we have only ever reviewed a couple of films that contain just a dance routine. Into Unbrokenness by Emma Holbrook is just that, a beautiful five-minute short of dance set to a gorgeous musical number.
Opening up on a British beach, overlooked by some cliffs, a woman (Charlotte Eatock) steps into the tide and suddenly starts to dance, with her movements sometimes echoing that of the gentle waves beneath her feet. The gracefulness of the dance is somewhat mesmerising and achingly beautiful.
According to the director, the dance is about loss and transition. Coping with the space left behind by someone who has left their life, and making sense of the world after they have gone. That motivation was evident in the dance and the look upon Eatock’s face. To me, it was the dawning of a fresh start into the unknown that lies ahead. The film is washed with a light blue grade – a colour we usually assign to sadness and/or mourning, but I felt a sense of hope throughout the dance.
The camera work, also undertaken by Holbrook, is really excellent. Either a Steadicam or a Gimbal was used throughout, with movement around Eatock’s steps. We are sometimes in a Wide looking out to the dancer and the sea, then before we know it, we are in the water and close-up to the movements.
The song, which was also composed by Emma Holbrook (she really does seem to be a dab hand at everything, doesn’t she?) is really excellent and sets the tone for the short and the dance perfectly.
As mentioned above, the short only comes in at five minutes, and although it is basically just five minutes of a woman dancing on a beach, it really is a moving piece that has been crafted well.