The Co-Laboratory

The Co-Laboratory is a unique collaboration between two teams of choreographers and filmmakers who create short dance films in a compressed amount of time. The intention is not to create the perfect film, but to bring professional artists into the atmosphere of a laboratory, one that challenges them to think collaboratively and explore possibilities for expression outside their fields, hopefully inspiring future creative relationships among local artists.

VIEW CO-LABORATORY FILMS

2020 Co-Laboratory Behind-the-Scenes

Join moderator Laura Elaine Ellis for a deep dive into the brand new 2020 commissioned dance film Dear Black Girls with filmmaker Yoram Savion and dancers, artists and activists Isha Clarke and Shayla Avery. The film honors and gives voice to all Black girls while celebrating their diversity and power. Take a moment to join the discussion.

2020 Artists

Yoram Savion Headshot 2020 Co-Laboratory Artist

Yoram Savion

Yoram Savion is a filmmaker, writer, and multimedia artist. His pan-genre, award-winning onscreen work spans movement-based documentation, narrative, documentary for youth- and humanitarian-centric initiatives including Youth Speaks, Destiny Arts, and 14+ Foundation (Zambia), and creative work for multinational brands. Savion’s creative work spans brands including Apple, Red Bull, Sundance Film Festival, Adidas, Adobe, DJI, the City of Oakland, Everyday People, and Electrafrique.

Savion is co-founder of Oakland, CA based YAK Films, an international media company that is a pioneer of innovative filming techniques for street dance. Over the past decade, Savion and his co-founders (Kash Gaines & Benjamin Tarquin) have built the YAK brand into a household name by filming legendary dance artists such as Les Twins, Lil Buck, Bones the Machine, and Lil Kida in diverse street landscapes across the US, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. Their work is widely distributed via digital media channels including their own outlets: YAK’s YouTube channels have more than one million subscribers and have garnered nearly half a billion views.

Yasmeen 2020 Co-Laboratory Artists
Ny'aja Roberson (red dress) and Shayla Avery (grey dress)
photo of Isha Clarke from black liberation protest movement
Isha Clarke. Photo: Beatriz Escobar

Isha Clarke / Shayla Avery

A new dance film centered on black women will bring together a collaboration from choreographers Isha Clarke (Youth vs Apocalypse) and Shayla Avery (Youth Protect the Bay) and film director Yoram Savion (Yak Films). Ny’aja Roberson will be a lead actor/dancer in the film.

Clarke, an 18 year old who organized protests in Oakland and Avery, a 16 year old who organized protests in Berkeley, have been active leaders in the Black Liberation Movement. Savion has been documenting their efforts and posting the footage on social media to help spread the message to the rest of the country and the world.

Through movement based art, this new film aims to connect the grief and the pain with the joy and the hope for this current moment. What are the values of the movement? How do we pay homage to black revolutionary women? How do we inspire people to take action? How do we know if people truly care to see real change?

The film will premiere at our Raising Voices program in October.

Funding in part made possible by the Fleishhacker Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Behind the Scenes

To learn more about the Co-Laboratory, read the Huffington Post REVIEW of the 2013 Co-Laboratory films and check out the mini documentaries below which follows the experience of that year’s collaborating artists.