SOCIAL DISTANCE DANCE VIDEO: David Fernandez's "Winston Churchill's Boy" with Christopher Grant
Erin Bomboy for The Dance Enthusiast: Benjamin Clementine’s song of the same name that accompanies the film opens with the lyrics, “Never in the field of human affection/ Had so much been given for so few attention.” How did you come to select this song?
David Fernandez: I was introduced to Benjamin Clementine by my good friend Ask La Cour. I saw a concert on Tiny Desk Concert on NPR. When you see Benjamin perform, the time stops, the world stops, and you are under his spell. Later, I went to iTunes to hear his music and on came "Winston Churchill’s Boy." For me, I identified with Winston going to a new country, and the words, “Nobody is a prophet in his own land, so here I am, embrace me, I am your brother.” Chris[topher Grant] and his mother migrated from Jamaica, so he also connected with the song. We all came here looking for a better life.
We became dancers; now I am a choreographer. Our lives were going on, like everyone else's. But then COVID and social unrest came in, so I called Chris to tell him I have a piece we can share with people. It has a message to keep going forward and to stay focused. We will have our days back: ”So you better watch out now, cause that day might be today.” Chris, by going back to the barre, says, “Come on, keep going, and we will dance forever and ever.”
Photo: Screengrab from "Winston Churchill's Boy"