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Dancing Fruit

Dancing Fruit (Diana Cam Van Nguyen x Rachel Portman, 2023)

NotesPart of Special Issue1: 25X250

What better partners in movement and color than Rachel Portman and Diana Cam Van Nguyen? Their short film Dancing Fruit is a celebration of life, a bat mitzvah of a film, dense with color and cheer. Portman’s cheerful waltz is rich with bounding strings and mischievous percussion as the woodwinds skip through the melody. This is harvest music, and the reaping is bountiful. Diana Cam Van Nguyen’s botanical collages are lively, edited as though they are, in fact, dancing, twirling on their cores and rinds. Here, apples and oranges aren’t so different so long as they move in tandem. The wrinkled strawberries and neon pears appear almost alien in close-up, their high saturation doubling down on the kitsch of it all. As the short film shifts into black and white—shots of barren trees and de-stemmed flowers—a winter sets in. The fruit is gone, the flowers picked. There will be nothing growing any time soon, her work suggests. But Portman’s waltz is unrelenting; just as a waltz always finds its way back to the downbeat, so too does Diana Cam Van Nguyen’s produce appear colorful and spring-like once again. The seasons may feel obligatory as we live them, but nature is always dancing, twirling, moving. Sweetness is light on its feet.