You Turn, choreographed by former Broadway performer Paul McGill, with original music by Stephen Trask, sheds light on a pervasive problem today: cell phone addiction. Deidre Goodwin, a former castmate of McGill’s from the Chorus Line revival, first approached McGill to work on the piece for her students at the New York Film Academy. The film’s main dancers, Stasi Berezovskaya and Lethabo Mofomme (both NYFA musical theater majors) submitted the work for their annual Dance on Film project.
In addition to raising awareness of cell phone use, McGill focused on the disconnected relationships found online. “I wanted the viewer to consider putting their phone down after watching and talk to someone or go make something,” says McGill. As he was creating the piece, he tried to be thorough with each moment and each movement to convey the film’s nuanced message while using the dancers’ best assets.
McGill found it crucial to hear the dancers’ thoughts and incorporate them into the choreography. “Collaboration is key and is, in a way, the point of the piece,” he says.