Bessie award-winning dancer/choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall unites movement and dance with her filmmaking. Her courageous personal work, in which she oftentimes stars, admits a restlessly inquisitive, feminist voice, a flare for iconic imagery, and a capacity to easily glide from art-house to playful, popular fare.
Celia Rowlson-Hall graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Modern Dance and Choreography. She immediately moved to New York on a fellowship from the Lincoln Center Institute for choreography and also began her career as a professional dancer, earning a prestigious Bessie Award for her performance. She quickly moved into choreographing for film and television, working with directors such as Gaspar Noé and Lena Dunham on ‘GIRLS.’ She has also choreographed VMA award-winning music videos for bands such as Alicia Keys, MGMT, Chromeo, and Sleigh Bells and for fashion publications Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour.
Bringing her experience of choreography and performance to the screen, over the past few years Celia has written and directed numerous short films and videos. These videos have garnered several awards including an Emmy nomination and have been screened at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, SFIFF, MIFF, Rooftop Films, Glasgow, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, and art fairs such as the Armory Show, Performa, and the New Museum. Her feature film, MA, that she wrote, directed and stars in had its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September 2015.
Celia is one of the "25 New Faces To Watch" for Filmmaker Magazine in 2015. The magazine called Celia’s approach to filmmaking “transfixing” because it “folds one art form into another” and “allows her to employ her body as a storytelling vehicle.”
"Spellbinding and fiercely original...a silent film that is anything but quiet." - Indiewire
"Ma is astonishing, and easily one of the most brazen and beautiful independent films I’ve seen in years." - Hammer To Nail
"It marks the arrival of one of the most unique new voice's in American Cinema." - Bright Ideas Magazine
MA is Celia's award winning debut feature, which she wrote, directed, choreographed and starred in. Entirely dialogue free, it tells the story of a virgin mother on a pilgrimage to Las Vegas to give birth to our savior.
After have a work-in-progress screening at MOMA Ps1 as part of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, MA had its World Premiere at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. It then went on to screen internationally and domestically at over forty festivals worldwide, winning the Breakthrough Audience award at AFI Film Festival, the Independent Visions Award at Sarasota Film Festival, the Juice Award at Ashland Independent Film Festival, the One in a Million Award at Sun Valley Film Festival, the Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking Award at Indie Memphis, and the Clint Howard Character Actor Award at Sidewalk Film Festival, among several others.
MA released theatrically January 2017 in NYC, Chicago, and LA. It is available for purchase here.
(The [End) of History Illusion] is the 14th commission from Miu Miu Women’s Tales. The acclaimed short-film series invites today’s most profound and original female directors to investigate vanity and femininity in the 21st century. This film was written, directed, and choreographed by Celia Rowlson-Hall. It premiered at 2017 Venice Film Festival. To watch the short film click HERE
Strangers is a new original comedy series created and directed by Mia Lidofsky on Facebook Watch. Vice Magazine called it "The Best Queer Comedy On TV". Strangers had its World Premiere at the Sundance 2017 Film Festival and was the US Centerpiece at Outfest 2017. Celia co-executive produced the series as well as directing Episode 6, co-directing Episode 3, and choreographing Episode 2. They are currently in production for Season Two. Click to watch the series HERE.
On Sunday Oct 2, 2016 over 200 pantsuit wearing Hillary supporters gathered together to perform a dance founded in unity, love, and inclusivity. The event was organized and video directed by Celia and her partner Mia Lidofsky. The dance was co-choreographed by Celia and Crishon Landers. The video currently has 5.5 million views and sparked several flashmobs across the country. Watch the video here and here are links to some of the various press: ELLE // VOGUE // WASHINGTON POST // THE GUARDIAN // VICE
Celia co-created 10 short films for DEREK LAM's fragrance campaign "10 Crosby." In addition to co-writing the 10 films, she directed three of them, choreographed two, and performed in two. The series of shorts was executive produced by Supermarche and InStyle Magazine called the series "seriously worthy of an Oscar".
Click here to watch the entire series.
"Choreographer of the moment" - VOGUE
"With her wacky charm, Celia Rowlson-Hall has become the dance darling of fashion and film." -DANCE MAGAZINE
"Ms. Rowlson-Hall’s brand of dance is quirky and unpretentious, the opposite of the hyper-sexualized choreography found in many music videos." - NEW YORK TIMES
Celia's recent choreography includes the last three seasons of GIRLS, "The Incredible Jessica James" featuring Jessica Williams, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the viral video she also co-directed, "Pantsuit Power" for HRC, and Alicia Keys' "In Common." She was the movement consultant on the Indie Spirit Award nominated THE FITS. Rowlson-Hall's commercial work includes H&M, Derek Lam, Lord and Taylor, 3M, Nordstrom, Lee Jeans, Kate Spade and Aritzia, as well as music videos for artists such as Alicia Keys, MGMT, Chromeo, Sleigh Bells, SebastiAn and Toro Y Moi.