Baffling ballet: Dance troupe screens funny, freaky film

Triple threat: The Cocoon Central Dance Team will step out in its new film “Snowy Bing Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone,” at Nitehawk Cinema on Aug. 22.
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Call it confusing comedy choreography!

A Brooklyn comedy dance crew will screen its bizarre new movie “Snowy Bing Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone” at Nitehawk Cinema on Aug. 22, as part of the week-long Brooklyn Comedy Film Festival. The 40-minute film is so out there that audiences have told the creators they don’t know quite what’s going on — but that is not a complaint, according to one dancer.

“It’s a gorgeous absurdist dance movie we’re proud of,” said Sunset Park resident Sunita Mani, a member of the Cocoon Central Dance Team. “It’s such a fun experience, we hear from people, ‘I don’t know what I’m watching, we love it and I’m laughing the whole time.’ ”

The movie loosely follows the trio of dancers on their quest for fame, as they use beach balls to defeat their enemies. The group, which has released many short dance films on Youtube, came up with the concept after Mani broke her foot. The injury forced them to come up with a storyline in which it made sense for her to be immobile — and also challenged the dancers to speak in their performances for the first time.

“It was good in a way. It was bad that Sunita was injured, but what it made us do was crack open the way we were performing,” said Cocoon member Tallie Medel, who lives in Queens. “Losing one dance member’s mobility made us speak on stage.”

But there is still plenty of dancing — the movie includes many small routines from the troupe’s old performances, alongside new numbers made up especially for the movie. All of the choreography helps advance the plot of dancers wanting to make it big, according to the final member of the group.

“They all comment on the struggle of wishing to be seen and wanting this thing,” said Eleanore Pienta.

All of the dances are performed to original music commissioned for the film.

The Nitehawk show on Aug. 22 will also feature a performance from the Cocoon troupe, along with stand-up routines from three comedians to round out the night. The three ladies are pumped to unleash their film for a comedy crowd, and hope audiences will come with an open mind, according to Mani.

“All we ask is for you to go on the ride with us,” she said.

The Brooklyn Comedy Film, which will also screen the reality show parody “Sex House” on Aug. 21, and a collection of short films on Aug. 26–27, is part of the larger Brooklyn Comedy Festival happening across the borough.

“Snowy Bing Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone” at Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave. at Berry Street in Williamsburg, Aug. 22 at 7:30 pm. $16.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Posted 12:00 am, August 17, 2017
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