“Grow” is an experimental multi-media short film which combines high definition video of a choreographed dance sequence with a stop-motion animated character and abstract video footage. It is set in a forest of topiary sculptures accentuated by hand drawn animated elements. An original musical score is being composed by post-punk indie rock band Modern Moonlight.
The message of "Grow" is that great challenges, even deep psychological damage, can either nourish personal growth or bring destruction. It chronicles the psychological and emotional journey of a rape survivor who searching for an identity after hers has been stripped away by trauma. It follows an abstract narrative told through gestural modern dance, featuring one key dancer as she interacts with her environment. Human-shaped topiaries, their poses representative of the emotional states and personalities of those around her, serve as potential new identities. She mimics their poses but realizes that she must find her own life. Her anxieties plague her, and in her journey she is twice overwhelmed by a relentless adversary represented by black swirling ink and hand drawn animation. She is thrust underwater and needs to find the will to escape and survive, to fight for her life despite her feelings of hopelessness and displacement. Once she has made the decision to confront her trauma and expose herself fully to it, her identity is freed from the trauma. She gains the strength to overcome her anxieties and is able to grow through the experience, taking on a pose of exultation and freedom. The topiaries symbolize the continuous growth of all beings. The menacing adversary is a flood of water, which nearly drowns the dancer but at the end feeds her vines as they sprout on the wireframe identity she has found.