The Pin-Down Girls started with a fib. Founder Devin Fulton heard that someone was hiring an all-female dance troupe to perform at the Playboy Mansion in summer 2008. So she suggested that her own group would be perfect for the gig.
“I did not have a company at all,” she confesses now. So she quickly assembled some fellow dancers to join her, and they landed the gig. Since then the Pin-Down Girls have been choreographing and performing their own unique brand of dance.
When asked to characterize their style, group member Jamila Glass rattles off a list of adjectives: “Technical, contemporary, edgy, sexy, bold, smart, funny, entertaining.” Fulton adds that “we take our art form very seriously, but not ourselves so much.” The Pin-Down Girls mix the knowing winks of burlesque sexiness with the rigorous skills of contemporary dance.
You can catch the Pin-Down Girls performing live on Jan. 14 at The Sweat Spot in Silver Lake, at 3327 Sunset Blvd. In addition to a live performance, they will be premiering their new short dance film ZINGDEED.
Glass graduated from the University of Southern California’s prestigious film program and found herself inspired by Fulton’s latest choreography for the group. “It was hard-hitting and in your face, but it also had a strange communal vibe,” she recalls. Glass let her imagination run wild and proposed making a film. Fulton instantly agreed.
Together they dreamed up the world of ZINGDEED, populated by an Amazonian race called the Palashakopians. Fulton choreographed the dancing, and the film was written, directed and edited by Glass. The project was made on a shoestring budget that was possible thanks to the contributions of time and materials from more than 40 individuals, such as costume designer Kellsy MacKilligan.
MacKilligan was happy to donate her time. She says of the Pin-Down Girls that “they do their own thing. That's brave.” MacKilligan took fabric samples from Fulton and created costumes from there, developing a “post-apocalyptic, deconstructed /reconstructed look.” The materials were recycled and repurposed so nothing was wasted. “I always love collaborating with these women,” she adds. “It’s fun.”
Glass laughs recounting the many struggles of making a film with few resources. In addition to the challenges of scheduling the company and crew and finding locations, the Pin-Down Girls encountered bad weather, the police and “a stray dog running into our shots.” But the results are already evident. A YouTube trailer for the film released on Christmas morning has racked up more than 1,000 views already.
You can see the full results of their efforts at the show, which begins at 9 p.m. on Jan. 14. In addition to the film premiere and live performance, you can enjoy music and comedy duo Dakaboom. Tickets are $20 each. All ticket sales will go towards funding future projects for the Pin-Down Girls.
Buy tickets here: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/215885
Watch the ZINGDEED trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYwxMwu_h-o or in the window to the right.
You can learn more about The Pin-Down Girls here: www.thepindowngirls.com