Sunday, May 13 seemed a poor day to be doing a big shoot. As we arrived at the Navy Memorial, no sooner did we set up our canopies and load our equipment, but the skies opened and we were in for a downpour. The 18 dancers of the Grupo Folklorico Raices Hondurenas cheerfully huddled under one tent as we monitored the storm with our cell phones.
Finally, after about an hour, the rain tapered off. Our team quickly set up cameras, and the dancers began spreading over the huge world map etched into the circular plaza of the Navy Memorial. If you have not been there, you've missed a treat. Fountains surround the plaza--the National Archives are directly opposite--and poignant bas-relief metal sculptures honor the many service members who defend our nation on the sea.
As the dancing began, visitors to the plaza were fascinated by the huge sweeping circular skirts and colorful outfits of the dancers. The group had worked until 1 p.m. the previous night perfecting their choreography, which included steps from some of the most cherished dance forms throughout Honduras. Even young dancers participated, which aligns with their purpose of passing on the roots of Honduran culture to new generations. Directors Roger Flores and Blanca Mikesell did an amazing job of bringing together the authentic movement and clothing and the dancers to create a special piece to the Beethoven symphony for the film. The results were spectacular.
Despite the late start, the dance and various shots were completed on time. Then the team did some of their traditional dancing, as a sort of "bonus." Across the map of the world, they twirled, with grace and dignity. The various visitors to the memorial broke into spontaneous applause--a well-earned accolade.
Interestingly, the Memorial was also host, that day, to the Asian Film Festival. Many people were attending to see some of the most interesting films coming out of the Asian community of nations. We were honored to share the space with them.
A big thanks to the Navy Memorial, whose leadership graciously allowed us to use this stunning location for the filming. Thank you all for your service on behalf of free people everywhere.