LUCIANNA – A Film Made in Jacksonville

The Dual Critics had a unique opportunity to experience an evening of film combined with dance performances during the Jacksonville premier of “Lucianna” at Boleros Ballroom on Atlantic Boulevard on Saturday, September 22nd. The film was set during the 1920’s Prohibition Era, somewhere between Chicago and New York, and almost all of those in the full house audience dressed in attire derived from that period.
The film’s plot film involved the handsome, wealthy, and very powerful middle-aged Giovanni (Walter Hook) who falls in love with the very attractive and much younger Lucianna (Dara Swisher Carman). Giovanni wants to control her life but she finds she is attracted to the handsome but much younger Enzo, played in the film by Jon Paul Vertuccio, and in the stage reenactment by Alden Miranda. Which will the lovely Lucianna choose? The man with the money or the man who excites her?
The film is stopped at various points as dance performances that capture the sensual passions of the film are melded with the script. Walter Hook, award-winning actor, singer and director, is impressive in the role of the Godfather. The dancers who play roles in the film have multiple credits as winners in competitive dance competitions all over the world. The dance routines, performed with polished perfection, were enthusiastically applauded by the knowledgeable audience. The dancers were: Peter & Alexandra Perzhu, Misha Vlasov, Anastasiya Abramenko, Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlana Rudkovskaya, Shay Dixon, and Rebeca Ovadia. Ms. Carman, who played Lucianna, is also an accomplished dancer.
The dance wear worn by the ladies ranged from restrained black and white to more daring attire in intense strong colors, adorned with sequins or jewels. The dance wear for the men covered a gamut of styles, from suits with fedoras to form fitting attire.
The movie was produced by Infinite Style Productions, founded by Daniel Nicolaescu and Pavel Volynskiy. They have been involved with many aspects of show business and ballroom dancing for a number of years, and also produced the entire show at Boleros. Mr. Nicolaescu wrote the screen play for “Lucianna” and hopes to expand it into a full length feature film and to have it shown in the Jacksonville Film Festival in the future. We were impressed with the quality of the film, which used local resources, including locations.
The festivities at Boleros made for a full evening. There was a dinner available early in the evening (Italian, of course. This was followed by general dancing prior to the film, and was a show within a show as many members of the audience took the opportunity to show off with fancy footwork.
After the final curtain call of the cast of ‘Lucianna”, The Leelynn Osborn Quintet played a variety of musical selections with vocals by Mr. Osborn that gave the avid dance aficionados new opportunities to pursue their passion in this elegant setting. .
This show and entire production of “Lucianna” certainly lived up to the motto of Infinite Style Productions: “Infinite possibilities exist when one is passionate about their art.”