Nulla | Dance Film from Jean Claude Billmaier on Vimeo.

 

Nulla is the latest film by New York-based motion picture director Jean Claude Billmaier. The film represents a carefully constructed study of movement, with a crescendo of tension and energy being unleashed to an original score by long-standing collaborator, R&B singer and producer Toulouse.

Developed as a response to our work-driven lifestyles, Nulla visually expresses the daily struggle of the everyday person in winding down and resetting one’s energy levels back to zero. Tension is portrayed as having a life of its own; it slowly makes itself known, settles and then returns as a disruptive force seeking to be released.

This level of tension is achieved through Loni Landon’s dance direction and Evan Copeland’s powerful performance. Working within the confined space of a hotel room, Landon translated the director’s vision into frantic shapes and quick bursts of movement. In particular, she highlighted the performer’s physical confinement by focusing on specific body parts, such as the neck, hands and feet. The film was choreographed with no music and shot with a handheld camera, allowing Copeland to spontaneously experiment with movements, textures and rhythm and work on a fast and constant buildup and release of energy.

Toulouse’s original score complemented the action, crafting an emotionally eerie and surreal soundscape. This film was an opportunity for the musician to compose to dance for the first time. He elaborated on Billmaier’s theme of tension and release by portraying the initial body movements through a tense sonic design, while gradually building momentum with a constant pulsing rhythmic element. He then interpreted the dancer’s final energy release with a series of percussive, soaring beats.

The addition of the over one hundred VFX shots amplifies the ecstatic, yet strenuous process of energy being discharged. By playing with the idea of invisible shards imprisoning us, Billmaier reflects on how our self-imposed restraints only become visible once we acknowledge them and are able to break away from them.

 

Behind the Scenes

Nulla

 

About the Artists

Jean Claude Billmaier is a motion picture director based in New York. His German and Venezuelan roots and diverse upbringing give him a multicultural palette when crafting the worlds he works with. His style combines architectural elements, composed movement and color studies to lift the viewer into a magical realism state of surreality. This has translated his filmmaking efforts into multiple industries including Music, Commercial, Fashion and Narrative work. His brand collaborations include: Vera Wang, Speck, MasterCard, Cole Haan, Nestle, McDonalds, Nine West, AOL, Tidal, Bordeaux Wines, Apple, BBC, Gothamist, Vevo, US Embassy to France, QKR, Playbill, Jefferson Awards, JWT, Roc Nation. Some of the artists he has worked with include: Cibo Matto, Ben Sollee, Kiah Victoria, Toulouse, One Republic, Kevin Garrett, Stevie B Wolf, Marshall Ruffin, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Wisin, Passion Pit, Lonnie Holley, Ryan Vona, Valentina Ferrer, Big Hearted Robot, Rioux, Stephon Alexander, Parches. As a producer he has been involved in projects with: American Authors, Bleachers, Comcast, Coca Cola, Ford Motors, Imagine Dragons, Demi Lovato, Juanes, Julieta Venegas, La Santa Cecilia, Maluma, Oprah, P&G, The Script, Toyota, Verizon, Yoko Ono. To view more of his work click below.

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Loni Landon is a dancer, choreographer, and movement consultant based in New York City. In addition to creating dances for her own collective Loni Landon Dance Project, her work is commissioned by Dance Companies and Film Director’s across the country. Landon is the 2013 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship winner awarded with BODYTRAFFIC. As a sought after choreographer, her work has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater, Keigwin and Company, James Sewell Ballet, Whim Whim, LEVY DANCE, The Juilliard School, BODYTRAFFIC, American Dance Institute, Northwest Dance Project, Hubbard Street II, Ballet X, Ballet Austin, SUNY Purchase, NYU, and Marymount Manhattan College. Landon choreographed the feature film Saturday Church, directed by Damon Cardasis, which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival in 2017. Alongside Gregory Dolbashian, Landon co-founded THE PLAYGROUND, an initiative designed to give emerging choreographers a place to experiment, while allowing professional dancers to participate affordably. The Playground was recognized by Dance Magazine as a 25 To Watch for 2013. To view more of her work click below.

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Evan Copeland hails from central PA and currently resides in Brooklyn. He received his BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he is now a substitute teacher. He also teaches at the Dalton School in NYC. He has danced with the Sean Curran Company (2006-2009) and was a member of Shen Wei Dance Arts(2008-2014). He was part of Punchdrunk’s production of Sleep No More in NYC (2015-2016) and has recently performed with the Sante Fe Opera and Houston Grand Opera. Evan is currently working with Martha Clarke and Bobbi Jene Smith.

Nigerian-born Toulouse is an artist, writer, producer and composer who regards genre-defiance as his life’s work and exceeding expectations as merely a by-product. Upon releasing his first single So I Know You Care in August of 2016, Elton John and Zane Lowe both endorsed his sound, with that becoming the first sign post of just what path is possible as an independent artist. He soon graced the #1 spot on Spotify’s Global Viral charts with the same song, followed by I Will Follow You, featured in Apple’s Balloons commercial, which debuted at #2 on THR’s Top TV Commercials chart. Most recently he contributed yet another song to the soundtrack of the movie and Billboard #1 album Fifty Shades Darker. He has also featured music with Nike, ABC, Netflix, Ford, Comedy Central and many others. To view more of his work click below.

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