STELLAR

  • Anna Görgey

A fabled astronomical event is retold in this dance tribute to human discovery This year was meant to be one of the biggest astronomical events in centuries. A few years ago, a team of researchers predicted that in 2022 a binary star system in the Cygnus constellation would merge and explode. This event, known as a Red Nova, would have been the first predicted solar collision seen from Earth with the naked eye, making it a once-in-a-lifetime event. In the years that followed the predictions and headline news stories, the solar merger has been disproved—disappointing space fans around the world. However, the dream of colliding stars eclipsing the night sky lives on in this short film directed by British photographer Emma Tempest. “Stellar is a film about souls. About a sense of ourselves and who we become, lost and found, discovering and yearning,” says the director. “Finding out who we are and where we belong in the universe and what that means. The fight we have with ourselves. Finding that inner peace, we stand strong knowing who we are and where we belong, at one with the universe.” Choreographer Anna Engerström took a direct approach with her vision for this project. Two dancers collide and merge in the dark expanse of the woods before burning brilliant white. They struggle and jostle with each other like celestial bodies caught in each other’s gravitational field. A moment of frenzied activity proceeds the eventual calm that comes with a new body being born. Cutaways to timelapse footage of the Milky Way elevate the film and the viewer’s conscious experience of Stellar, reminding the viewer that they are an incredible byproduct of an endless network of explosive possibilities. Only seven naked-eye supernovae have been recorded in the past 2,000 years, so with the release of Stellar, Tempest is perhaps offering the world its eighth. March 2, 2022

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