Tajana B. Williams Brings Creative Heat. Featuring Music From Deanté Hitchcock, JEFF & cktrl, the Dynamic 9-Minute Short Film Draws Strength from the Talent and Passion of the Ensemble Cast of Dancers
The New Film Unearths Black Professional Dancers’ Challenges and Triumphs By Highlighting Their Unique Stories of Strength and Camaraderie
About The Film:
Tajana Bunton-Williams, a former professional dancer who performed at Coachella with Beyoncé & danced on the legendary Formation World Tour, among several other notable career highlights including award shows, music videos, renowned recital halls, and more. Williams has always believed in dance’s power to soothe the soul and heal communities. A mutli-faceted creative, Tajana married her myriad experiences of being a Black dancer with a newfound creative outlet, filmmaking, to birth a brilliant short film titled, “Back Beat,” which shines a spotlight the plight, beautify, strength, creativity, resilience, and kinship of Black professional dancers.
“I wanted to make a film that celebrates Black people through the voices of Black professional dancers in the industry in Los Angeles,” says film director Tajana Bunton-Williams. “The commercial dance industry is structured in a way that primarily undermines career growth of Black Talent and excludes them from opportunities to monetize their gifts in sustainable ways. Unlike the culture of Ballet or Contemporary dance, Hip-hop dancers struggle to make a living as more than background props for a music artist. Rarely are they showcased for their innate gifts and artistry outside of a music video or a live tour for a recording artist. I hope that ‘Back Beat’ will empower Black people, celebrate Black joy & hopefully the next time someone watches hip-hop dance they can see it for the vulnerable and deeply skilled storytelling, art form that it is.”
While the dancers share their horror stories, they also express the joy within their experiences too. It emphasizes the uniting centrality of dance to family gatherings and reclaiming ownership of their movements often appropriated. The film features music from Atlanta rapper Deante’ Hitchcock, Memphis artist JEFF, and London musician cktrl.
Tajana Bunton-Williams is a Sierra Leonean Queen, she spent her childhood in London. Currently, Williams calls both Los Angeles and London home. Williams’ career in dance catapulted her passion for the arts, which translates to her role as an in-demand visual artist, specializing in film, branded content and commercials. Her work includes music videos and live performances for artists like Ari Lennox, Chika, Bas, and more. Moreover her completion of several short films that showcase her exquisite eye for movement and image composition. View her work at https://vimeo.com/user99366315
Watch “Back Beat” at The Nowness: https://www.nowness.com/series/just-dance/back-beat-tajana-b-williams
“Back Beat” embed code: <iframe src=”https://www.nowness.com/iframe?id=6263018760001″ width=”500″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen></iframe>
“Back Beat” Credits:
Director – Tajana B Williams
DP – Kalea Calloway
Production Company Somesuch
1st Assistant Camera Minami Crease
Photography – Tajana B Williams
Duet Choreography – Zavion Brown
Wardrobe – TYDRYN
Colour – Gabe Sanchez, Roundhouse Post
Edit – Tajana B Williams
Title Graphic – Medar De La Cruz
Please contact Michelle for Andrea or more info.
Tajana Bunton-Williams As a Director
Tajana’s directing style reflects her professional dance career. After working for many years with artists such as Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe, she has unique insights and points of inspiration from having been on the front lines of groundbreaking immersive creative experiences with a global reach. Her love of dance deeply informs the development of her work as she often integrates choreography, abstract storytelling and a vibrant musicality in each piece she creates. She is currently working on projects in the music, fashion and branded content space. Most recently, Williams has worked with Ari Lennox, Chika, Victoria Monét and Destiny Rogers.
Somesuch serves as one of the leading production companies in the world. It is known for delivering some of the most progressive and award winning commercials, music videos, branded content and films globally.
Somesuch is associated with awards and festivals including Cannes, D&AD, The British Arrows, Ciclope, AICP, MTV, UKMVAs, and BAFTA. It won ‘Production Company of the Year’ several times. Most recently, ‘Production Company of the Decade’ as voted by UK’s Campaign Magazine. Somesuch produces original, creative short films, documentaries and narrative-led cinema, with recent premieres at Raindance, BIFA, Palm Springs and Clermont-Ferrand.
As a production company, Somesuch is committed to sustainable production models. In addition, it will achieve greater levels of diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry. Somesuch has a global network with offices in London and LA and represents Serial Pictures in the UK.
“Beat Back”: https://www.nowness.com/series/just-dance/back-beat-tajana-b-williams