Created and Directed by: Charlie Todd
Producers: Alan Aisenberg, Andrew Soltys
Associate Producer: Juan Cocuy
Camera: Lauren Murphy, Chloe Smolkin, Peter Steusloff, Christian Mortensen
Hidden Camera: Ilya Smelansky
Sound Mixer: Ken Barbera
Editor: Matt Braunsdorf
Assistant Editor: Danny Behar
Still Photography: Arin Sang-urai (photo credit for all photos on this page.)
Production Assistants: Danny Behar, Austin Poplin, Alex Romanski, Zak Roland
Field Day Director of Photography: Justin Ayers
Field Day MoVI Operators: Spencer Thielmann, Adam Nawrot
Field Day Assistant Camera: Sarah Harrison
Cast: Zultari Gomez, Stephanie Salts, Zachary Denison, Jason Rodriguez, James III.
Choreographer: Jun Lee
For our latest mission, professional ballet performers pose as break dancers in New York’s Washington Square Park. The men hype up their tumbling routine to a gathered crowd before realizing they brought the “wrong music.” The crowd is surprised as they slowly realize the performer’s hidden talents.
This project was a collaboration with YouTube’s new Field Day channel. Check out our video on the Field Day channel that features parts of this mission as well as our Groundskeeper Acrobats mission.
Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos.
For years I’ve wanted to stage a project on the subway where ballet dancers show up on a train car pretending to be “Showtime” performers and then suddenly break into an awesome ballet routine instead of the normal tumbling and subway pole acrobatics. Each time it would come up I’d talk myself out of it over safety concerns. The subway is really not an ideal place to do ballet moves.
Separately, I’ve always been a fan of the showmen in Washington Square Park who put on break dance and tumbling shows week in and week out. When I first moved to the city I’d hang out in the park and check out Tic and Tac. So I finally got the idea to bring the ballet idea to the park rather than the subway.
Agents Zachary Denison, James III, Jason Rodriguez
Agent James III gets the crowd excited
James eventually told the volunteers to go back to the crowd and that he would bring them back for the finale. He announced it was time for the show to start and the flips to begin. After counting down he pressed play on the boombox, and instead of a hip hop beat, Tchaikovsky blasted from the speakers. Zach and Jason acted befuddled at first and clumsily attempted some moves. As the performance progressed, they suddenly got good.
Agents Zultari Gomez, Stephanie Salts, and choreographer Jun Lee
It was really cool working with these performers and watching them try something a little out of the ordinary. Even though we never got around to those big “flips,” a great time was had by all.
Stay tuned for one more video in our Field Day series later this summer!
Full set of photos from photographer Arin Sang-urai