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2021 William F. DIPietra Film/Video Award Winner Uses Dance to Tell A Story

Steven Ruggiero  (Fordham University)

 

My film uses dance to tell a story instead of words. The protagonist finds a door which takes him from the exterior world into his own interior world where he interacts and grapples with his emotions, represented through a series of dance sequences.  The different scenes in the film represent a push and pull between the main character and his feelings: sometimes he embraces those feelings and moves in synergy with them, and sometimes he is at odds with them.. The journey that the main character embarks on is a personal one that doesn't necessarily conclude at the end of the film; rather, this work of "figuring out" oneself is ongoing. 

 

I'm originally from Annandale, New Jersey. I started dancing in second grade when my mother enrolled me in a weekly breakdance class at our local gym. I really fell in love with dance, and continued breaking through high school, at which point I started taking hip hop choreography and ballet. I also became interested in photography and film/video in high school, and I tried to find ways to incorporate my passion for dance into my newfound passion for visual arts. Dance is a very important part of my life and one that strongly influences my artistic taste and filmmaking practice. I'm currently a co-director of Mint Dance Company, a dance team in New York City that participates in competitions and showcases around the tri-state area.

 

I am a senior at Fordham, double majoring in Film/Television and Visual Arts. I'm also minoring in Psychology.   Post-college I'm planning on pursuing work in the film industry. In the past 6 years, I've done a lot of freelance videography, photography, and editing work for clients all around New York and New Jersey. I've shot promotional videos, weddings and bridal showers, dance content, music videos, and a variety of other video jobs. I also regularly shoot headshots and portraits for people, and I photograph events and campaigns, including some for students on campus at Fordham. During the pandemic when a lot of live events and recitals were cancelled, I ended up producing several virtual events that were pre-filmed and broadcast online so that people could enjoy them without leaving their homes. I think that I'll continue freelancing post-college, but I'd like to start breaking into the production world. My dream job is to be a cinematographer on large films, so I'm hoping to start working my way up the ladder!