Interview: Celia Rowlson-Hall Lives the Dance
by Julija Kaselyte
The enthusiasm of this young and ambitious New Yorker is undeniable. Hard work, focus and determination are the traits responsible for Celia Rowlson-Hall‘s accomplishments, but she can also ascribe her success to her diverse set of abilities: as a trained dancer, she does choreography for a handful of music bands while finding time to pursue her passion for making films. We used this great opportunity to speak with Celia about a few important milestones in her life.
Julija: When did you realize you wanted to dedicate your life to dance?
Celia: My parents clearly remember my five year-old self declaring that I was going to be a ballerina in New York City. So it’s been a while.
Julija: Do you still want to be a ballerina?
Celia: Oh yes, I still want to be one!
Julija: Do you remember your first performance in front of a crowd?
Celia: Yes, I was 5 and was a snowflake. I could still do the moves for you.
Julija: How did you feel?
Celia: I refused to wear anything but that snowflake costume for months. So needless to say- amazing.
Julija: Where did you graduate from?
Celia: I graduated from University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Modern Dance.
Julija: So how did you get into filmmaking then?
Celia: When I moved to New York, I began getting jobs like dancing and choreographing for music videos and simply fell in love with the process. I love the challenge, the ridiculous hours, the collaborative element – and so I thought I would explore filmmaking as my vehicle of expression for a while – and so far I am loving it!
Julija: Tell us about Prom Night. Was it your debut film?
Celia: Prom Night isn’t my debut. I’d made a couple of other videos before it, but this one feels the most “me” out of everything I have made to date.
Julija: How long did it take to make it?
Celia: The shoot was around 12 hours, but there were countless hours of conceiving, prepping, costuming, rehearsing, editing, etc.
Julija: Were you satisfied with the result?
Celia: That’s a tough question. Because I am so close to the material, it’s hard not to obsess over the flaws. But in the same breath – yes I am satisfied with the result – and ready to make more work.
Julija: What are the projects you are currently working on?
Celia: I’m finishing up a couple of fashion videos and music videos that I directed and then heading into the studio to work on a new dance film that’s taking over my brain. And always looking for more work!
Julija: What music do you listen to?
Celia: Anything and everything – I’m not picky. But I will say that I love watching Jon Brion performing so very much.
Julija: Do bands often ask you to help with choreography?
Celia: Yes, I’ve choreographed for some pretty awesome bands! Chromeo, MGMT, Sleigh Bells, Sondre Lerche, Sebastian, and Erika Spring to name a few.
Julija: What are your plans for 2012?
Celia: Direct a feature film.
Julija: Name a few things that you are proud of.
Celia: Proud? May I name a few things I feel lucky about instead? I feel lucky that I live in this city, have the friends that I have, and am able to make the work I want to make.