We enter the back of a sublimely bare church, the void of prayers sated only by a rich wash of morning light. Soothing acoustic plucks guide a white dress through satisfyingly simple, narrative movement. Intimate perspectives drift over pews, peeking their way down into a dreamy scene. The videographic rendering of indie rocker Rob Drabkin‘s Stay (The Morning Light Fades) is refreshingly elegant.
Featuring clean choreography by Amanda Copple of Denver’s Michelle Latimer Dance Company, the music video is indulgently fluid in all of its facets. Copple, partnered by charming fellow MLDC dancer Luke Kamppila, weaves the melody into each step, chords rolling over shoulders like a third dancer, visible only through the expression of its creator. As our trio of dancers spill out from the pews of Colorado Springs’ Shove Chapel, we follow their “catch and release” love story, desperate movements shadowing the beauty and pain of an endangered relationship. Copple and Kamppila float in and out of each others arms, the discord in their energies demonstrated by opposing directional focuses and out of sync turns. They swim through the open air into feathery lifts and gentle connections, then combust into an irreparable dissonance. Director Dillon Novak reflects on the result of a “once in a lifetime” videoshoot, offering,
“Partitions of stained glass and countless rows of outstretching pews and columns become the physical bounds of a relationship. Beginning in the back of the sanctuary, a history of love unfolds into a dance. Their story travels through radiant light and crushing darkness, fighting their way towards the front of the church.”
The composer and musician Rob Drabkin himself, who chose the video’s venue not for any religious or nuptial semblance but for the pure enchantment of its natural light and stained-glass windows, sheds perhaps the most insightful light on the collaboration. Drabkin’s soulful singing reflects his own experience with the ache and relief which shadow the ultimate expiring of a faded relationship. Stay‘s delicate chord progressions materialized as movement in Drabkin’s mind from the moment he conceived them, and when the song was complete, a need for choreographic accompaniment became impossible to ignore. “It was time to take a risk and put the idea into motion.” And we’re so glad you did, Mr. Drabkin.
Catch the full music video on vevo.