Professional dancer Cersha Burn creates ‘movement poetry’ through her craft. Written by Omaira Galarza
Cersha Burn whips her hair as she turns, contorts, and moves in ways that stretch our imagination of the way a single toe or tilt of the neck can communicate volumes of emotion and story. When watching her dance, it’s easy to forget she’s in the confines of a computer screen, which is the norm in this socially distant era. We’re watching footage of a solo Burn performed in a film by commercial photographer and filmmaker, Taso Papadakis. Burn was handpicked by Papadakis for the principal role in his film after seeing her work as part of a collaboration dance film he created with BrockusRED, a Los Angeles-based modern dance company. Papadakis said he was enthralled with Burn’s ability to “…use her presence and sincerity as an artist to convey the language of dance through her. She is good at what she does because she does it authentically. This conveys a truth that is communicable/transmutable to an audience and to the medium of film.”
For 3 Diamonds, Papadakis wanted an emotive artist with strong technique for this solo. By casting Burn, Papdakis said, “Cersha brought the film ‘to life’ with her emotive legato movement. Cersha is a professional, creative and infuses a great life force into her movement poetry. As an artist, it is plainly evident that Cersha is deeply committed to and loves her form of practice. She is a tenacious dancer on film and on stage.”
Burn’s love language is movement. She has dedicated her life to training; she is an alum of Alvin Ailey School of Dance, Professional Division program and has a Bachelor of Dance from Wesley Institute, Australia majoring in Performance. Burn is making her own dream a reality by performing as part of Los Angeles Dance Festival, Buildabeast Experience, Disney’s Walk the Prank, In Her Words for Councilwoman Nury Martinez, and Walang Tulugan Philippines as well as brands like Generosity Water, McDonald’s Flashmob, Lululemon and Amaysim Australia.
Burn expresses nostalgia and longing for the stage and performing live. Burn “I long for the live stage, the red velvet curtains, the live audience and connection I have with the artists on stage and communicating with an audience the freedom, story and intention of movement that can only come from that singular moment in time on stage.” Rather than sit in the inertia of mourning the worldwide dimming of the house lights, Burn is using this time to explore using her communication style – dance and movement – to help youth who many not always have the language, emotional or social intelligence to express what they mean or feel. Burn has a cousin who is autistic and dance has been one communication tool in which they share a joy and freedom in. Burn says “It often was tricky to have a conversation that lasted longer than ‘yes’ and ‘no’ or about planes and trains. Dance was the one place I saw joy and happiness in him and we could both stay connected for an entire song. I see it especially now when we video chat that dance keeps him engaged and focused in a non-verbal, expressive conversation that says more than words ever could.”
Burn has embraced opportunities to combine her passion for dance with this understanding of dance as a communication tool in a professional setting. As a professional guest artist for CBS