The film was conceptualised directed by Jess Journo for Global MND Awareness Day on June 21st
A hard hitting short film, gifted to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, premiered at 7pm on June 20th, on the MND Association’s official YouTube Channel. It is intended to raise awareness and coincides with Global MND Awareness Day (June 21st).
Conceptualised and directed by Jess Journo, the film entitled ‘The Dance’ was largely made possible because of the generous contributions of production houses, editors, composers, producers, DOPs and grading houses such as Stink, Wave, Big Buoy, Company 3 and Work Editorial. It has also received support from MNDA’s patron, Eddie Redmayne.
Eddie Redmayne said: “This film, through the form of dance, gives you a sense of the brutality of Motor Neurone Disease. It’s compelling with a clear message, ‘Don’t ignore the problem because there isn’t yet a solution’. I want as many people as possible to watch and share it, even though it’s a little uncomfortable, so that understanding of MND will be greater in the future. It has been gifted to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, a charity which is close to my heart, and it portrays with huge emotion, the gradual loss of control and the tragic nature of stolen dreams.”
The film has been made in honour of Wendy Gladwyn, who dedicated her life to the arts, but sadly died of MND.
“MND is incurable so people perhaps feel there’s nothing they can do about it. I wanted to make a film that they couldn’t ignore, that would make them sit up and take notice”, says Jess (who was also one of the young performers championed by Wendy).
Jess cast classical dancer Dana Fouras, for her beguiling ability to transform emotion into movement. She also represents an age group most often diagnosed with MND. Fouras, who is known for her work with Russell Maliphant (who was on set) and roles such as Juliet in MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet, Solo Swan in Swan Lake and Requiem & My Brother My Sisters for the Royal Ballet Company, felt compelled to be a part of the project when she understood the motivation behind it.
Musician, Brendan Void, composed a special piece which rolls our emotions over the edge with haunting strings and a melody that draw us even further into the visuals.
MND Association director of external affairs Chris James said: “This is a fantastic piece of work by Jess and her team, portraying the brutality of motor neurone disease in dance. We are really grateful for all involved in the production of this film which we hope will raise awareness and promote understanding of MND.”