What are fairytales? Swinton narrates the answer in six steps in an exclusive video directed by Andrew Ondrejcak, featuring striking footage of choreographer Kyle Abraham.

In Story and a Writer, Andrew Ondrejcak’s short film for Document Journal, actress Tilda Swinton narrates the storytelling process over footage of striking choreography from A.I.M. founder Kyle Abraham, Georgina Pazcoguin, and Eleanor Hullihan—dancers with Alvin Ailey and the New York City Ballet. Document editorial director Aaron Hicklin’s Deep Water Literary Festival commissioned the project from Ondrejcak to illuminate the broader conversation of the festival: what are fairy tales? Set to a score by New York based performer and composer Nathan Parker Smith, the dancer’s movements follow Swinton’s arc of narration, their fluid movements building to a crescendo of fitful and erratic gestures, resolving in a subdued conclusion. In the film’s second half, “The Writer,” we follow writer and director Andrew Ondrejcak as he struggles to write his own story.