Release Date: September 13,2019

Downtown Akron Partnership and NCCAkron present #Dance4Coffee

 Akron debut of dance film "But First..." and free java across five locations on Sept. 27 

On Friday, Sept. 27, five coffee shops around downtown Akron will screen the short dance film "But First..." in a celebration of caffeine and creativity ahead of National Coffee Day (Sunday, Sept. 29). Between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. people can stop in at any of the following five shops for a free cup of coffee.
 
Akron Coffee Roasters, 30 N. High St.
Angel Falls Coffee, in the Shoppes at Akron Centre, 76 S. Main St.
Rubber City's Remarkable Coffee & Cafe at Bounce Innovation Hub, 526 S. Main St.
Serendipitea, 11 E. Exchange St.
Sweet Mary's Bakery, 76 E. Mill St.

All weekend long coffee shop visitors can view the film and enter to win a prize package including a pair of tickets to the upcoming Parsons Dance Company performance at UA's E.J. Thomas Hall, presented by DANCECleveland. Coffee shop weekend hours vary by location and can be found on downtownakron.com.
 
"But First..." was shot and produced along the Towpath Trail in July 2018 by choreographer Mike Esperanza and filmmaker Erin Brown Thomas with Red Point Digital on production. This collaboration was realized during the Dancing Lab: Screendance residency created by the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron) and Dance Film SF (DFSF) with lead support from the Akron Civic Commons.  
 
The film premiered last fall at the 2018 San Francisco Dance Film Festival and has publicly screened in 15 other cities to date, ranging from Mexico City to Prague and including New York City's Dance on Camera Festival, the Cleveland International Film Festival, and American Dance Festival's Movies by Movers. (a complete chronological list of festivals and venues is available below.) The coffee shop screenings on Sept. 27 will be the Akron debut of "But First..."  
 
"We are so excited to bring "But First..." back home and are grateful to Downtown Akron Partnership for collaborating with us to thank the community for their support during the production," said NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke. "We look forward to raising a mug and cutting a rug with coffee lovers and dance lovers here in Akron."
 
Dancing Lab: Screendance was the first national iteration of DFSF's Co-Laboratory creation program. Over the course of nine days, two teams of choreographers and filmmakers collaborated to workshop, produce, edit and complete short dance films. This program built local connections outside NCCAkron's usual operations, as private homeowners and local businesses shared their resources with the film crews as they worked throughout Akron.  
   
Brown Thomas is an Akron native now working in Los Angeles. She and Esperanza were inspired by many cups of coffee and visits to Akron Coffee Roasters (ACR). During the creative process, ACR's Albert Macso and team welcomed the artists in to record found sounds that Esperanza later layered and remixed as the film's score.  
 
In addition to "But First..." choreographer Nicole Klaymoon and filmmaker Morgan Wise created a second film, "Chrysalis" during Dancing Lab: Screendance. That film had its Akron debut at PechaKucha on Cascade Plaza last month.
 
This promotion is possible with support from Akron Civic Commons, Downtown Akron Partnership, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron).