“BIRTH OF PLEASURE” IS AN EROTIC NARRATIVE DISCO BALLET-FILM WHICH EXPLORES POLITICS OF SENSUALITY AND CONTEMPORARY ISSUES AROUND THE FEMALE BODY, THROUGH A RADICAL RETELLING OF THE PSYCHE AND CUPID MYTH.
On Set Photography of “Birth of Pleasure”. Photos by Katy Beltran.
THE NARRATIVE FILM IS BASED ON A LIVE SHOW CHOREOGRAPHED BY ANICKA AUSTIN, “SANCTUARIES & FORTRESSES”, WHICH PREMIERED MAY 17, 2018 AT THE BAKERY ATLANTA.
Photographs by Kimara Dixon from the Premiere of “Sanctuaries & Fortresses” by sunday morning at 7.
The film addresses:
a. Eroticism, based on the writings of Audre Lorde, as a means for women to reclaim joy in their jobs, relationships and identities and to combat symbolic and literal ‘pornographic’ ideas of beauty and sensuality.
b. The importance of support for the mental health and outlook of women in our current political and cultural climate through nurturing depictions of the dancers.
c. The politicization of the female body through abstractions and depictions of menstruation and the shame and silence that oftentimes surrounds menstruation.
This film is an experiment in presenting choreography in a way that honors the choreography, without trying to replicate all of the nuances that are only possible in a live show. It is a child of the choreography, that supports the live work, while maintaining its independence as a stand alone work of art.
Stills from “Birth of Pleasure”.
Lev Omelchenko - Director
Lev Omelchenko is a Visual Artist and Community Organizer. He was born in Ukraine and immigrated with his family in childhood to Brooklyn. He is currently based in Atlanta, GA. His film work is driven by collaborations with local artists and utilization of unusual and forgotten spaces. He plays with questions of modern rediscovery of ancient and sacred modes of existing, community vs individualism and the importance of diversity for imagination.
Anicka Austin - Artistic Director/Chreographer
Anicka Austin is a performer & choreographer working from Atlanta, GA. She is invested in storytelling traditions and myth making as methods of inquiry. She is a 2015-18 Lucky Penny
Work Room resident artist and a 2017-18 WonderRoot Walthall Fellow.
Amber Bournett - Director of Photography
Amber L.N. Bournett is a military brat, artist, science fiction enthusiast, cinematographer, and director. She co-founded indie art film-house, House of June, with Ebony Blanding in 2013,
while studying Film and video at Georgia State University. Her love of film began during the plastic Disney VHS Box Collection era.
Initially visually expressing through oil paint and brushes
since childhood, Bournett then a fine art painter, began studying as a cinematographer. Canvases soon transitioned to cameras through necessity and growth. A lack of representation of black existence in film called her to become a filmmaker and also curator of the cinematic arts.
Xenia Simos - Art Director
Xenia Simos is an installation artist with a background in sculpture and design. She is a
graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor of fine arts in interior design, her work
explores space and our relationship to it. Through a conceptual and process-based approach,
Simos translates the human experience into a spatial composition, manifesting mental
structures into physical ones. Her works are often site specific, and interdisciplinary in medium.
Naomi Mack - Assistant Director
Naomi is a creator here in Atlanta dedicated to sharing the human experience through truth. Although she's been making a name for herself as an actress, she has always been passionate about film production as a whole. As an aspiring director, her goal as a storyteller is to capture moments of life and share these stories specifically through film and movement to enhance our
quality of life and broaden perspectives.
CHRIS GRAVELY - COMPOSER
Chris Gravely is an experienced Freelance Percussionist of 17 years. He has studied drum set,
hand drums, and classical percussion. Chris studied under the instruction ofvarious teachers such as John LaMattina, River Gueguerian, Michael Cebulski, Caleb Harron,
Stuart Gerber, and Charles Settle. As a soloist, Chris has performed two Concertos with the Georgia Perimeter Wind Ensemble, and also premiered works by local Atlanta composers such as Lowell Fuchs, Michael Standard, and his own piece entitled LIFE, which he premiered in March of this year. Chris is also a teacher of percussion and drum set in the Atlanta area.
Saira Raza - Composer/Sound Design
Sister Sai is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and producer Saira (pronounced sī’ rǝ) Raza. Her work displays a wide range of musical influences including jazz, folk, electronic, and classical. In her recordings, Saira employs any and all instruments within reach including vibraphone, guitar, bass, dilruba, found sounds, and synths, but she primarily performs with her first love, the cello. Her album Inertia was included in Creative Loafing Atlanta’s 40 Best Albums of 2016. Her most recent release Extempore, which reflects the experimental loop-based style of her live solo sets, was included among Immersive Atlanta’s 30 Best Local Records of 2017