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Daphne Rubin-Vega stars as a troubled dancer in the movie 'Fall to Rise'

Two-time Tony and Drama Desk award-nominee, Daphne Rubin-Vega ("Rent," "Anna in the Tropics"), gives a powerhouse performance as a deeply troubled dancer in "Fall to Rise." Examiner Dorri Olds screened this film, with its strong New York City feel, at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway near Lincoln Center and interviewed Daphne Rubin-Vega and Desmond Richardson on April 4, 2014.

Jayce Bartok and Daphne Rubin-Vega in NYC
Jayce Bartok and Daphne Rubin-Vega in NYC
Dorri Olds
Daphne Rubin-Vega and Desmond Richardson
Jayce and Tiffany Bartok

Rubin-Vega plays Sheila Jules, a dancer who left Hudson Dance Company (HDC) after becoming entangled in a mess with Des (Desmond Richardson), the artistic director of HDC. Lauren Drake (Katherine Crockett) has left the same dance troupe but for different reasons than Sheila did. Both women are struggling to balance their lives amidst crushing career disappointments.

The audience is taken on a journey through the eyes of these two emotionally crippled women. The highly competitive and physically grueling nature of professional dance sets the stage for a background of high drama that intensifies Sheila and Lauren’s struggles.

Lauren was the dance troupe’s principal dancer but, after a serious injury to her knee forced her to stop dancing, she is unraveling. While feeling burdened by her new baby and heartsick about losing her position as primo dancer she happens to run into Sheila and the two wounded birds form a peculiar bond.

Rubin-Vega said, "I knew I had to show up for this and on so many levels. I'm still stuck on this character." When asked what making the film entailed she said, "The process of filmmaking is really weird. You start out with an idea and then it morphs into something completely different. At the beginning of the project, Sheila was a completely different character than she became at the end."

"I love to dance," Desmond Richardson said. "I started as a hip-hop dancer and then I trained in many different styles. I studied with Alvin Ailey when I was 17 and then moved to Germany with Frankfurt Ballet before coming back to America."

Click to purchase tickets for the Sat., April 5, 2014 showing at First Time Fest.

The cast also includes Tamara Tunie (“Law & Order: SVU”). The indie film was written and directed by Jayce Bartok and produced by Tiffany Bartok, who used a Kickstarter crowd sourcing campaign in order to raise enough funds to get their movie made, which is also an inspiring story.

April 5, 2014 “Fall to Rise” is being shown at AMC Village 7, 66 Third Avenue at 8 p.m. For more information and to buy tickets click here. Drama. Not rated. 100 min.

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