A dancer himself who has traveled the world learning different dance traditions, Redha Medjellekh is a choreographer, director, and filmmaker who certainly knows his subject. Specializing in viral dance videos, he is the visionary behind videos for Red Bull and Alvin Ailey that tell powerful stories through dance. His creative agency, Red Is Dancing, celebrates all genres of dance from ballet to krumping through his recognizable one-shot film technique.
Redha created this stop-motion film of our fashion studio recently. Another one of my favorites is this film taking place in a Tokyo food market with Japanese dancers performing a South African/Ghanaian street dance. Most recently, he created a video tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. where a dancer rises out of a bed on a Harlem sidewalk. Join me as I tag along behind-the-scenes below.
TELL ME WHAT YOU DO AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED.
Redha: I create videos that tell stories with dance. I always wanted for my dad to be interested in dance and he wasn’t. But he does care about story. So I had this idea to create viral videos telling story through dance, so that he would be interested in watching.
I started by creating a TV series called Dance Around The World, where I travelled around the world learning about different cultures through dance. However, it was not reaching enough people and I understood I needed to find a format online to reach more people because eventually what I want to do is reach people through dance.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
So many! For my next project, I want to put a dancer in the same space in four different seasons. At the end of the year, we’ll have a movie with the dancer in four seasons doing the same choreography. I did a similar concept with two different cities in the film “Paris / New York Long Distance Love" and now I want to do that with seasons.
I just completed a video called " I Have A Dream" as a tribute to the 56th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's speech. It begins with a dancer, Germain Zambi, in a bed placed on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Harlem. The film includes audio and symbolic references to Dr. King's favorite gospel song, Rodney King, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Trump and Colin Kaepernick.
Moving the bed into place in Harlem for Redisdancing's video "I Have A Dream".
DESCRIBE A FAVORITE MEMORY WEARING ONE OF YOUR NOT PIECES.
A favorite memory is when I officiated the wedding of Adeline and Sinclair wearing my Zipper Shirt. I felt on point because it was a very stylish wedding, but not too strict, and I was in this position where you should not look like the groom but you still had to be classy - and you're in the south of France with some very well-dressed people - and to still be me! It was a tricky one and NOT did it.
Evidence of some serious stylishness here.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR SECRET SPOTS IN THE CITY?
For shooting, I like bridges and corners. I always try to have a corner in my videos, and busy streets. I like to eat at Risbo and an Italian restaurant called Belles. I like Prospect Park. I like the Klosciuszko public swimming pool in Bedstuy. And I love going to my barber at Levels every week.
Shooting with dancer Germain Zambi on a busy street corner in Harlem.
WHAT IS AN UNUSUAL HABIT OR TALENT YOU HAVE?
What really surprises people is that I don’t drink. In today’s world, it kind of is a talent.
IF YOU COULD BE OR DO ANYTHING ELSE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
All of my work is designed in order to never feel like I’m working. If I weren't in the creative field, I'd probably do something in the field of social work or be a therapist/psychiatrist.