First Snow

Celia Rowlson-Hall

Public Performance: Tuesday, December 6, 11:30pm – 12am | Duffy Square

Times Square Arts will host a live outdoor performance by the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Attacca Quartet in celebration of Rowlson-Hall’s Midnight Moment.

Attacca Quartet’s Times Square performance is supported in part by Glasser NY, as well as Polyarts, a female-driven management team for unique artists across all genres.

RSVP to attend the performance

In December, a whimsical welcoming of winter graces the billboards of Times Square. Director-choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall’s First Snow is a hopeful appeal for an unending abundance of beauty amidst the fragile state of our natural world. As snow cascades across a stark, black backdrop, dancers slowly emerge from darkness. Immersed in snowfall, their choreographed movements and personal gestures are swirling and spontaneous, punctuated by pauses of wonderment that evoke memories of a first encounter with snow. Eventually drained of bodily energy, the dancers recede towards the darkness, collapsing beneath the accumulation of the silent storm.

“I have dreamed for many years of creating a piece in Times Square - the mecca of light, concrete, human imagination and drive, that allows the passerby a brief moment of beauty, quiet, and reflection, and invites nature back into this city…immersing the audience in a beautiful snowstorm, one which not only invokes beauty and wonder, but a deep nostalgia through movement and dance. My hope for this piece is to remind people of the power and nature of beauty in all its forms, and a deep wish for mother nature to hold on.”
— Celia Rowlson-Hall

The making of First Snow also mirrors the environmental themes Rowlson-Hall addresses throughout her work. The snow that descends upon the dancers is made from recycled, biodegradable packing. With the intention of making films that leave as little environmental trace as possible, the costumes were lent by designer Sara Lopez of A--Company, a fashion line that seeks to reduce waste. "My films leave as little trace as possible, because I make films that celebrate the beauty of this world," says the director. "I won't add to the waste and destruction of our planet in that pursuit."

Times Square Arts will host a live performance by the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Attacca Quartet on Tuesday, December 6 from 11:30pm-12:00am in celebration of Rowlson-Hall’s Midnight Moment.

Film Credits
Director: Celia Rowlson-Hall

Original Score: Plan & Elevation V. The Beech Tree by Caroline Shaw and the Attacca Quartet

Dancers: Aliza Russell, Connie Jie Hung Shiau, Jesse Kovarsky, Kevin Pajarillaga, Marla Rose Phelan, Nando Morland, Yeman Brown & Zui Gomez

Editor: Kevin Tadge

Director of Photography: Jake Saner
First AC: Tom Van Scoyoc
Gaffer: Kyle Driggs

Makeup Artist: Mandy Bisesti
Wardrobe provided by A—Company

Produced by Kelsey Grills & Marla Rose Phelan
Executive Producer: Ziggy Le Vin at Director’s Lab

First AD: Andrea Murillo
Production Assistants: Makenna Finch & Catheryn Clifford

A Movement Museum Production. Gibney Company’s Moving Toward Justice Fellowships are funded by Andrew A. Davis, a trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, the Bay & Paul Foundations, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and The Ready Foundation.


Bessie Award winning Celia Rowlson-Hall (b. 1984) is a director-choreographer whose courageous personal work admits a restlessly inquisitive, feminist voice, a flare for iconic imagery, and a capacity to easily glide from art-house to playful, popular fare.

Celia’s debut feature, MA, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2015, and went on to screen at over forty festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards, including the Breakthrough Audience award at AFI Film Festival and the Independent Visions Award at Sarasota Film Festival. That same year, Celia was named one of 25 New Faces to watch for Filmmaker Magazine.

Celia began her career as a professional dancer and quickly moved into choreographing for film and television. Early collaborators included directors Gaspar Noé and Lena Dunham on GIRLS, and more recently she choreographed After Yang, X, Birds of Paradise, Ziwe, Chapter One of Vox Lux, The Fits, and John Mulaney’s Sack Lunch Bunch. She has also choreographed music videos for artists such as Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Bleachers, and MGMT.

Bringing her experience of choreography and performance to the screen, Celia has written and directed numerous short films and videos. These videos have garnered several awards including an Emmy nomination, as well as screened at festivals such as Sundance, Venice, SXSW, SFIFF, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center. In 2017, Miu Miu commissioned Celia to create the next installment of their Women’s Tales Series, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Celia is a Sundance Institute FilmTwo Fellow and Cinereach fellow, and is currently working on her next film. She currently splits her time between Brooklyn and Upstate, NY.

Grammy award-winning Attacca Quartet, as described by The New York Times,  “exuberant, funky and more exactingly nuanced”, are recognized and acclaimed as one of the most versatile and outstanding ensembles of the moment – a quartet for modern times.

In 2021, the Quartet announced their exclusive signing to SONY Classical, releasing two albums that embody their redefinition of what a string quartet can be. The first Album, Real Life, featuring guest artists such as TOKiMONSTA and Daedelus, the second Album, Of All Joys, which features their original take on great Minimalist and Renaissance works seamlessly. In September 2022, Nonesuch Records released the quartet’s new album with Caroline Shaw, Evergreen, a follow up to their Grammy-award winning album, Orange, in 2020.

Touring extensively in the United States, recent highlights include Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival and Miller Theatre, Phillips Collection, Chamber Music Detroit, Chamber Music Austin, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Banff String Quartet Festival, Dumbarton Oaks, Howland Chamber Music Circle and Ojai Festival.

In the US, the quartet will perform at Carnegie Hall, Of All Joys at Catacombs series, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Lawrence University, GroundUP Music Festival, UCSB Arts & Lectures and a residency at Chiarina Chamber Players.

Midnight Moment is made possible by the Times Square Advertising Coalition, ABC SuperSign, American Eagle, Branded Cities, Clear Channel, Disney Store, Express, Levi's, LG, Luxottica Group S.p.A., Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, New Tradition, Sensory Interactive, Sephora, Sherwood Equities, Show + Tell, Silvercast, Swatch, T-Mobile, and JCDecaux.

Major support of Times Square Arts is provided by Morgan Stanley. Additional program support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support for Midnight Moment is provided by Meta Open Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Times Square Advertising Coalition.

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Photos by Michael Hull.