Adrián Ramírez Juárez & Akari Fujiwara on the New Amanda Martinez Video for Estaba Cayendo

Canadian singer songwriter, Amanda Martinez got involved with Adrián and Akari through award winning choreographer Debra Brown. When Amanda contacted Debra about moving forward with her idea for her new video Debra had just finished working on a piece with CBJ dancers who she called “Canada’s best kept secret.”

We had a Q&A with Adrián and Akari to find out what it was like working with Amanda and the differences between working on a video, as opposed to performing live onstage.

Adrián & Akari on location at the Scarborough Bluffs.

What was it like to work with Amanda on this video?

Adrián: It was a terrific experience working with Amanda, she’s an amazing artist and such a kind and humble person. She was cheering for us the whole time. I have nothing but good things to say about working with her.

Akari: It was very fun and special. This was my first time collaborating with someone outside of dance for a project. I was amazed to see how Amanda expresses her emotions with her voice, just like dancers do with their bodies. It’s so interesting to see two different art forms coming together to create one beautiful piece. I am very excited to see the video! 

On a sandy set with Adrián and Akari.

What was the creation process like and what was it like to film on location on the Scarborough Bluffs?

Adrián: The creation process was very focused on two things: 1, the dancing part and 2, moments that had to do with the song and had to be performed specifically for the camera, so we had to take into account many different visual aspects and angles.

Debra was very open about the dancing and wanted to work with who we are as dancers and our styles and our personalities. As soon as she saw that we were feeling uncomfortable she would ask us to stop what we were doing and do something else that would suit us better. 

We created the dance in a studio but there was a lot of improvisation too on day of the actual video shoot.

Akari: First, we created a dance to align with the lyrics and atmosphere from music in the studio. We rehearsed for two days to make sure we understood the meaning of the song with choreographer Debra Brown. We adjusted a couple of steps when we were at the Scarborough Bluffs to fit in better with the beach location. It was not easy dancing on sand, but it felt amazing because it was just a gorgeous place! I truly enjoyed being there!

Adrián & Akari on set for “Estaba Cayendo.”

How does working on a video differ from live onstage performing?

Adrián: It’s completely different, at least for me. Projecting your emotions is the total opposite. I was doing the same thing as I would do on a stage and I was told not to do that which was weird for me, but I had to adapt. The director told me that I had to express or feel inwards and you have to repeat the same thing over and over again until they get the right shots. In this case the dancing was very challenging because we danced on sand. We were falling all the time, so we had to repeat it many times.  At times I was feeling a little uncomfortable with what I was doing but the entire crew was very supportive of us. We saw a little of what was filmed and I was surprised that it didn’t look bad despite not being able to dance as comfortably as I’m used to. I can’t wait to see the Music video!

Akari: Shooting for a video and performing live is similar yet different. Having an audience makes a difference because their energy is strong and powerful for me. I am not used to performing in front of a camera, but the camera brings out a magic and it is wonderful. You feel like you are right there in the moment connecting with the camera.

Estaba Cayendo is the new single off Amanda Martinez’ album Libre.