A native of Iran where she lived until moving to France as a student, then America studied interior architect - Nargess Philips worked with eminent architect and designer as Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, Lane Mc Cook & Associates, Kerry Joyce Associates, and as a set designer and art director for TV shows and was art director for the AFI Film production “Chiaroscuro” Also as space planner and designer for Ralph Lauren and Robert Ahmanson Other Hollywood clients included Kathleen Kennedy Frank Marshalls , Ron Meyer, Irwin Azoff, Jay Marciano, and many more.
Dance was a culmination, “a natural progression” from her work in architectural design. Phillips noted, as teenager, had been fascinated with the history of the Latin cultures, particularly Argentina and Cuba. Several years ago she visited Cuba and pursed her love of Afro Cuban dance, Cuban history and culture with dance classes and meets many famous musicians. Before that, when she started tango with Felix Chavez, international renowned dance teacher, choreographer, and winner of the Prestigious Feather Award, She could not stop thinking to connect these two dances, Afro Cuban and Tango together as a story teller of past. Tango was a meditation, healer, creative vision and the source for her story. She regularly attended Milongas and intensively took classes with great Argentinian tango teachers here in LA and international Tango Festivals. Tango Room Dance Center in Sherman oaks became her temple of dance to feed her soul, solidify in her network of friends and dance lovers that she would later incorporate into her first film project, “Buenos Aires Meets La Havana” the story grow in her with passion for these two countries’ culture, history, conflict, music and dance when she first visited Havana. She discussed her vision story with a professional dancers, dancer’s friends and Mirko Orania, Italian director – they all loved the idea and next was up to her to start the production.
Shot in her home last summer in Cheviot Hills, where she has for many years’ hosted dinner and dance parties for the international tango and Salsa community at dinner and dance parties, the film tells the story by dance of new generation from political, intellectual and famous figures of Argentine and Cuba. Using her set design background, Philipps dressed the set with many of her own designs and transformed her home and backyard into the Plaza De La Cathedral and lobby of the Hotel in Havana. Actors were tango and salsa professional dancers and she used the audience with all her friends’ dancers who were filling the beautifully arranged and designed table in the plaza de La Cathedral. They all got engaged into the dance at the end as cameras were rolling in there (here) and then (now) – Neorealismo, her favorite era in Cinema … with real people. As a follower of Rumi and grow up in a spiritual and mystic family, she also revealed Rumi’s influence in her story.
She plans to take the half-hour film to festivals worldwide and ultimately develop it into a feature project.