In this new age of social distancing and contact-free interaction, music and performance are engaged in a delicate dance—literally and figuratively. One Amsterdam-based filmmaker has managed to capture the essence of solitude, and he’s chronicled it in his latest short film.
Michael Middelkoop is a critically acclaimed director and writer, known for his debut short film “Netflix & Chill” which premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2017. His new project, “Meeting Point,” is another beautifully shot short-form piece, but this time the subject matter is much more eerily prescient and stark.
Before filming, which happened to occur at the height of the European outbreak of COVID-19, Middelkoop connected with Greek composer Calliope Tsoupaki, who is presently fulfilling an artistic residency in the Netherlands. The virtual meeting turned out to be a pivotal moment for both artists. Turns out, Tsoupaki had created a musical composition in direct response to the global health crisis. When she asked the filmmaker for his thoughts on a visual supplement, Middelkoop immediately responded. And the result is “Meeting Point.”
Set to Tsoupaki’s beguiling chords, the short film is an arresting and ghostly marriage of music and dance. It opens on a lone piano sitting solemnly in a deserted location between two tall buildings. Tsoupaki makes a surefooted entrance and takes her seat at the piano bench, where she begins to play. Just then, a lone figure (choreographer and dancer Shay Latukolan) clicks into the frame and begins to whirl expressively around her, eventually taking off on a singular possessed trip along a deserted pathway.
It is a poignant expression of the distance forced upon us in this strange new world and how the connective power of music and dance can keep us all together.