Studio D director, dancers play roles in 'Smash' ad campaign
Published 6:53 pm, Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Rebecca Anderson Darling, the director of Studio D, a dance school in New Milford, was recently hired to choreograph and style a photograph for the national "SMASH" ad campaign.
He previously had worked with Ms. Anderson Darling on promo shots for the Showtime series "Queer as Folk" in 2000 and on a photo for his book, "In My Stairwell," in 2003, which included Ms. Anderson Darling and three other Pilobolus dancers.
Several photographs were taken for the campaign, but Ms. Anderson Darling was hired for the "pyramid" shot, which is currently on a billboard in Times Square.
For the project, Ms. Anderson Darling hired a crew of about 15 New York City-based dancers for a test shot day at Seliger Studios in New York.
The dancers, with whom she worked in companies such as Pilobolus, Momix and Alison Chase Performance, included two of her current company members, Carlie Silva, a senior at New Milford High School, and Maxine Parsons, a 2011 NMHS graduate.
Miss Silva and Miss Parsons have been training at Studio D for the past eight years and perform with Ms. Anderson Darling in her dance company, Momentum.
The dancers have been featured as soloists in Studio D's annual "In Motion" series.
"It was exciting to bring two of my current dancers to the city to be part of this group of creative, high caliber, freelance dancers," Ms. Anderson Darling said.
"It was not surprising that they rose to the challenge and fit right in with all of the other professional dancers. Carlie and Maxine were great contributors to the imagery that we used and also came away with valuable commercial dance experience."
Eight dancers were hired for the NBC photo shoot day, including Miss Parsons, who is also a teacher at Studio D and is now attending Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
"Maxine is an incredible dancer, with great maturity and wonderful instincts," Ms. Anderson Darling said. "Knowing my aesthetic, she is a dream to direct and an incredibly hard worker."
The test shot was done Oct. 6 with dancers and the NBC "SMASH" photo shoot took place later that month at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
"It was really amazing to see the image for the first time on New Year's Eve when I watched the ball drop in Times Square, on television," Ms. Anderson Darling said.
Miss Parsons described her experience with the project as "great."
"It was an amazing feeling to watch my dance instructor work with her friends, previous co-workers and former students," she said.
"In order to form the pyramid shape Rebecca explained how she envisioned it, once the words left her lips the dancers began working and created a shape in less than a minute," Miss Parsons said.
"At first I felt a little unsure how to add myself into the shot with these experienced dancers, but they were extremely friendly and always managed to find a place for me," added the New Milford resident. "After a few different photos I began to feel more comfortable and confident, especially with Rebecca always giving me a reassuring smile."