Choreographer Ethan Colangelo is ‘Falling’ for viral Trevor Daniel Music Video

Choreographer Ethan Colangelo is ‘Falling’ for viral Trevor Daniel Music Video

May 11, 2020, 7:17:01 PM Life and Styles

Having loved dance all his life, being a choreographer is just another way for Canada’s Ethan Colangelo to express himself. As a choreographer, he is constantly pushing himself for new ways to create movement and share ideas physically in a given space, and that is what he loves so much about his job. There is never an end to creativity, just a constant push to make interesting work that is understandable and impactful for both himself and his audience. There are endless amounts of sounds, texts and music that can inspire him to move or create and this relationship of physicalizing what he hears is always a beautiful connection. As a professional dancer, he is the paintbrush creating a work of art, but as a choreographer, he is the painter. 

Throughout his career, Colangelo has shown the world just what he is capable of as both an esteemed professional dancer and renowned choreographer. The pinnacle of his resume was being selected last year as a finalist at the 11th annual Copenhagen International Choreography Competition, but this Juilliard alumni has a lot to celebrate, including being a full-time dancer with the LA based dance troupe BODYTRAFFIC and performing at iconic venues such as Lincoln Center during the Historical Performance Collaboration and Baryshnikov Arts Center as a part of the Cunningham Centennial.  

“The biggest gift about being a choreographer is working with such incredibly talented dancers. I have been so lucky to truly work with some of the best dancers in the world and the inspiration and lessons I gain from seeing them do my material is undoubtedly my favorite thing that I can experience in this art form,” he said. 

Colangelo was inspired to become a dancer by watching music videos as a child, so when he was invited to come on board as Assistant Choreographer and Movement Director for Trevor Daniel’s music video 'Falling', a chart-topping single that saw popularity after going viral on the app Tik Tok last year, it was a dream come true. 

“Film has always been a huge passion of mine so being able to combine the use of cinematic elements with dance was so exciting. The track was very beautiful and working on the project was super fulfilling, as I also loved the song itself. Music videos are an incredible opportunity as the work is shared to such a large audience. Physicalizing someone’s art through video is something I find to be incredibly powerful and I genuinely enjoyed every moment. Dancing on set is an awesome experience and very different from live theatre as you can re-shoot the scene whenever you want,” said Colangelo. 

Working on set was absolutely incredible and very exciting for Colangelo. During the day of the shoot, he was the movement director and was running the choreography, coaching Daniel on his simple dancing and helping him look more relaxed and confident while he was singing. During each scene, Colangelo would count in the rest of the dancers so that when they were running their sections they would all be in time together. 

“Often in music videos, simplicity can be more effective with so much going on, so it was important that we maintained clarity and cohesiveness amongst the dancers for an effective visual component. It was also interesting making decisions based on the space we had, often we were limited in terms of space around us when we were dancing so it was my job to navigate how we could effectively use what we had,” he described. 

Every minute on set, Colangelo was constantly active, looking for ways that he could better the movement and allow it to operate on and off screen in a smoother manner. Every time they did a scene, he was responsible for making sure the choreography was executed correctly and that the work was being done to its fullest potential. Every aspect of the movement was his call, even working with the set designers on the bed scene, choosing where the beds would be placed for the best and most effective use of the movement.  

“I really enjoyed working on set and collaborating with the director William Desena, we were able to exchange ideas back and forth on the shoot day and it was such a smooth and creative experience. The dancers were all incredibly talented and so easy to work with and also just a fantastic group of people. The artist Trevor was super open and wanted information about how to better approach his movement in the video and was very receptive when it came to feedback. Dancing in the video was also extremely fulfilling, as the choreography Amy created with me was really musical and dynamic and had an awesome structure to it,” he said. 

“Falling” premiered on YouTube on Jan. 15th, 2020, and has since amassed over 58 million views. The single was already a hit, hitting number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts worldwide and number 7 in the Hip-Hop category. However, since the video’s release, the song has reached a whole new level of attention with 493 million streams on Spotify alone. It is an astonishing feat for a debut single, and Colangelo is so proud to have been such a major part of the video’s success. 

“It is quite crazy to think that a track that has almost half a billion streams has my work and my dancing in the video to support it,” he said. 

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out “Falling” and see Colangelo’s beautiful choreography.

Photo by Lee Gumbs

Published by Zoe Sewell

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