Synopsis: SNAP, Archie’s Story is a short video conceived and directed by George Stamos featuring the legendary dancing, distinct voice and story of NYC vogue-dance icon Archie Burnett (Grandfather of the House of Ninja). In this rare and vulnerable portrait, vivid imagery, humour, movement, and Archie’s narration come together to tell his remarkable story of resilience and unwavering fierceness. Both playful and contemplative SNAP explores the precarious and sometimes punishing world of professional dance as dancers uphold images of strength and a “the show must go on” mentality, despite pain and adversity. Through inventive visual collage and recent and archival footage, SNAP provides a backstage pass into Archie’s path as a pioneer in this art form.
Archie Burnett and I met in 1991 when he and Willi Ninja taught me, and we all performed together in an Amsterdam nightclub. We have remained friends and colleagues since, and I’ve witnessed his career’s fantastic evolution. My firm belief that Archie’s story, and the dance culture he represents, deserve to be documented and celebrated in intimate portraits has fueled this production. Archie’s humanity, persistence, humour and endurance have inspired this work. Archie’s story of resilience holds survival strategies especially relevant to the challenges people face worldwide today. My intention with this project is to share his generous spirit and positivity.
Montréal-based Director George Stamos spent his formative years in the Queer performance art and contemporary dance milieus of Toronto, London, Amsterdam and New York in the 1990s. Since the mid-1990s, George has maintained a thriving career as a Choreographer and Dancer. In 2018, George completed his graduate studies at the Department of Communication Studies of Concordia University. George produced and directed several short videos as part of the 52pickupvideos project, the short documentary Our Bodies Our Business, and many promo and video installation projects in the contemporary dance field. SNAP, Archie’s Story is Stamos’ first short video released to festivals.