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Metal Head + Choreographer

By October 21, 2020No Comments

Photos: Kolman Rosenberg

Antonio Morillo is a first-generation Cuban American born in Florida. He joined Verb Ballets in 2016 and has choreographed five works for Verb Ballets including a work selected by the Martha Graham company that premiered in NYC on the Next@Graham series in 2017. He has passionately choreographed for the new dance-rock film collaboration, Carnival Macabre. We sat down with him to see how he approached this new challenge.

What was your inspiration behind that name Carnival Macabre?
The idea behind the piece is that this band of dancers, alongside Neil Zaza, are dead members of a carnival. Some mystical power brings them to life for just one day.

How is choreographing for film different than stage?
Choreographing for film allows for greater control over how and what the viewer is seeing. It also allows for multiple takes, so that moments can be perfected for the final product. These are the two differences that stood out the most for me.

How does the rock music influence your choreography?
I am a huge metal head. I have always listened to, and have been inspired by, rock and metal music. I listened Neil’s music A LOT. I allowed the rock music to inspire qualities and dynamics I wanted to draw out in my movement. I would then focus on creating phrase-work based on those qualities.

What was the best thing you learned from going through this project?
I learned a lot about how choreographing for film and stage differ greatly. A lot of collaboration as well as troubleshooting on the fly went into this project. I have learned that it’s especially important to be flexible with your ideas.

What do you look forward to doing more of this season?
I am looking forward to more performance opportunities, hopefully,and more exploration of dance for film.

Antonio Morillo

Antonio is a first-generation Cuban American born in Orlando, Florida. He received his Associate of Arts in Dance Performance from Valencia College and his BFA in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida. Antonio has performed with the Patel Conservatory’s Next Generation Ballet as well as Tampa City Ballet. He has performed works by Jon Lehrer, José Limón, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Robert Moses’ Kin, and Maurice Causey. Antonio joined Verb Ballets in 2016 and has been featured in works such as Andante Sostenuto and Aposiopesis.


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