Love, strength, and giving (6:15)
Warning: this is a heavy one. It’s beautiful and beautifully done, but it’s heavy.
I’ve followed Kyle Hanagami for some time now, but I hadn’t heard about his Letters of Love project until I watched this heartbreaking video. In 2013, he asked his friends and followers to send letters about love (of dance, of people, of anything), and for every 10 he received he would donate a dollar to cancer research. He received something like 300,000 letters, and in an incredibly twisted strike of fate, was himself diagnosed with leukemia late last year.
This piece is about the importance of love in a time of need, and how sharing an emotional burden strengthens everyone involved. It’s also an incredible feat of choreography—the entire piece is filmed in one shot, with dancers, chairs, and nowhere to hide except behind the camera.
I keep coming back to this question: What do you do when you’re in a position of influence because of your art? Dance, as artistic expression, is deeply personal, but a dancer with a following has a bigger responsibility than that which he has to himself. Artists like Kyle Hanagami and Cookies are acutely aware of this dual role, and I am endlessly thankful and inspired by them for it.
And send a Letter of Love here:
P.O. Box 6339
North Hollywood, CA 91603
PS: A behind-the-scenes look at hiding all those people and chairs behind a steadicam.