I was tired of trying to make dances about abstract concepts. So instead, I began sourcing material from something concrete that stands out to me as a good work of art. Moonstruck (1987) is a romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison, written by John Patrick Shanley, starring Cher and Nicholas Cage. It is about a widowed, 37-year-old, Italian-American woman who falls in love with her fiancé’s estranged, hot-tempered younger brother.
Moonstruck has been a part of my life for a long time. I can’t remember when my mother first showed it to me, but it has been a classic in my family’s DVD library for years. It’s currently available to stream on Amazon Prime and Youtube Movies.
Near the end of January 2020, I began a process with five dancers — Taina Bey, Mia Martelli, Delaney McDonough, Paulina Meneses, and Kelsey Saulnier. As a group we dissected the text, movements, and material from Moonstruck in a few ways, wondering: how familiar do you have to be with this film to be able to pick up on the references? If you’ve never seen the film, what do you think this is all about? The following videos are edited clips of fairly raw material from our short rehearsal process.
text: I wanted to treat text with the same complexity that I treat movement material. I picked scenes that offered a handsome text, and brought the scripts to rehearsal. [Ronny’s introduction in the basement oven room of Cammareri’s Pastry Shop since it is so nonsensical, and Loretta’s monologue suggesting the wolf metaphor.] In some instances, we rearranged words and phrases to disassociate meaning from the original scene, making space for new sense and context to be imagined. In others, we simply read scenes while others danced.
actions: I watched the scene in Ronny’s apartment when Loretta cooks him a steak, and wrote detailed descriptions of all the slight movements the actors make. In the same order, I read off those directions as suggestions to Mia and Paulina [where Paulina acts as Loretta, and Mia as Ronny]. Interpretation varied, some very literal and some very abstract.
stage directions: I extracted all the stage directions from the entire script, and used them as suggestions to generate material. The resulting phrase chronologically represents the movie from start to finish. I performed this solo, titled Cosmo’s Moon, at The Craft on March 5 2020 and Spoke the Hub’s Solo Fancy on February 15 and 16 2020.
Julia is a dance artist, gemini and optimist. Her work investigates the specificity of place, exploring the idea: + dance and architecture are fundamentally related by the active body, both grounded by the necessity of bodies in space +
Her work has recently been presented at Jack Crystal Theater (TDH Festival for Emerging Choreographers), The Craft, and HATCH Presenting Series in NYC. She has brought her work on tour to Seattle (CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work at the Meydenbauer Center), Salt Lake City (Queer Spectra Arts Festival) and Copenhagen DK (GAME Streetmekka København).
As a performer, Julia has danced in work by Bebe Miller, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Barbie Diewald, Rodger Blum, Sarah Lass and Rowan Salem. Since moving to New York, she has performed in work by Javi Padilla, Mia Martelli and Maggie Goulder.
Julia earned her BA in Dance and Astronomy from Smith College, graduating cum laude with high honors in Dance. She received the Excellence in Dance Studies Award for outstanding work in her senior capstone project and overall contributions to the Department of Dance. At school, she studied with Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Jen Nugent, Joy Davis, and Katie Martin. She was Business Manager and choreographer of Smith’s Celebrations Dance Company, which is dedicated to student composition, performance and production.
In the fall of 2018 Julia was invited to be a Postgraduate Diploma student at the Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School in Denmark. There, she studied under the direction of Lotte Sigh and Morten Innstrand who personally coached her to develop her technique and performance skills. Julia had the pleasure of working with many international artists including Lucia Pasquini, Toby Fitzgibbons, Quim Bigas and Søren Linding Urup, as well as performing in a work by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano.
Julia Antinozzi is a fiscally sponsored member of New York Live Arts, and a recipient of Triskelion Arts’ Space Subsidy program sponsored by New York State Council on the Arts.
Most recent work:
Wings (2019) extracts the iconography in baroque architecture and catholic art. It is an unemotional, detached reflection of things we find holy, in an episodic manner.
choreographed by Julia Antinozzi in collaboration with the dancers
originally performed by Mia Martelli, Paulina Menenses, Cauveri Suresh
presented at WAXworks at Triskelion Arts – Sunday December 8th 2019
presented in progress at Movement Research’s Open Performance – October 8th 2019