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Then Comes The Body

average rating is 5 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

May 19, 2023

Film Reviews
Then Comes The Body
Directed by:
Jacob Krupnick
Written by:
Jacob Krupnick
Daniel Owoseni Ajala, Precious Duru, Olamide Olawale

At a time in which the internet, and technology in general is hitting some very bad news with the troubling growth of AI technology, ‘Then Comes The Body’ is a beautiful reminder of how delightful the internet can be when used as a force for good. In 2020, as the world was in the midst of the pandemic, a video of young Nigerian children ballet dancing in the rain went viral. That video has improved the fortunes of Nigeria’s Leap of Dance Academy, and ‘Then Comes The Body’ slickly illustrates that newfound optimism.


The academy is ran by Daniel Owoseni Ajala, who, inspired by the 2001 cult classic ‘Save the Last Dance’, taught himself to dance as a child, with only the internet to guide him. Ballet isn’t a particularly big thing in Nigeria, particularly amongst boys, and faces opposition from large sections of the majority christian population. Nevertheless, Daniel’s passion and perseverance has made him a talented dancer, who now gives back to other aspiring dancers in Nigeria’s most populated city of Lagos through his free program, reasoning that without price barriers there is ‘no excuse to not follow passion’.


Alongside Daniel, Jacob Krupnick’s film focuses on the fledgling careers of ballet prodigies Precious Duru and Olamide Olawale. Precious tuns forty minutes to reach the academy for lessons, and at just thirteen years old has been offered a scholarship in Belgium, an opportunity that will take her away from her friends and family. Olamide is twenty one and has devoted much of her adolescence to mastering the art of ballet. Despite it being difficult for someone of her (still incredibly young) age to receive a scholarship, she has nonetheless been offered the opportunity to study in Johannesburg in South Africa. It signals the success of the Leap of Dance Academy, the selfless efforts of Daniel, the perseverance of his students, and the raised profile given to both the academy and its dancers through one viral online video.


Director Jacob Krupnick translates this wonderful story into a poetic tale of optimism, resolution, and passion on screen. In just fourteen minutes he transports us to Lagos, and into the minds of Daniel, Precious, Olamide, who each deliver rallying calls to follow dreams. Krupnick directs with confidence, capturing the dancers movements with exquisite beauty, and frames each shot impeccably, in particular one involving a dancer atop some yellow buses. His direction brings the message of the title ‘Then Comes The Body’ to life, imbuing the film with a passion so that the dances can only be beautiful.


Although on first glance ‘Then Comes The Body’, may suggest a morbid crime thriller, this upbeat dance documentary is anything but. It’s a story of global interconnectivity, of people who have gone through serious trials and tribulations, of art in its purest form, and most importantly it’s a story of hope and belief. How those two things can take you to unimaginable heights, and how they can guide people to reach their dreams of a better tomorrow. Directed with flair to match the art which it portrays, ‘Then Comes The Body’ is a beautiful documentary.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film, Documentary
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