Dance Film Project artists talk process
Dance film has come a long way since Baryshnikov wooed audiences in 1976 with his performance in Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Contemporary artists from dance, film, and other artistic disciplines are now exploring innovative directions as to how dance can be experienced. This weekend, Cinema Revolution Society presents 24 original dance films by local artists who are all delving into the possibilities of what dance film can be. We interviewed some of the participants of the Dance Film Project via email. Here's what some had to say about their process.
A company member with Ballet of the Dolls since 1987, Franks has in recent years turned toward choreography. While working she usually has everything mapped out beforehand, but for her film, Abandon, she decided to take a more collaborative approach with filmmaker Jenna Pace and sound designer Mike Hallenbeck.
Carrera is no stranger to interdisciplinary work. He often changes hats as a visual artist, choreographer, filmmaker, and performer in his own work, as well as in collaborations. For his film Hustle, he and Tyler Jensen recruited as many performers from the local modern dance scene as they could. With the stipulation that they couldn't spend more than 30 minutes filming anyone, Carrera would teach the dancer their movement on the spot. They'd go to people wherever they happened to be at the moment that they were free to be filmed.
Choreographer Megan Mayer, who has done dance films before such as Over Time with Skewed Visions, worked on two films for this weekend's festival: Blue Argus, with her partner Kevin Obsatz, and Belt Beeper Scanner with Ben McGinley.
Video artist Ben McGinley worked on three pieces for the festival--with Megan Mayer, Mad King Thomas, and Laura Holway. For him, what makes dance in person interesting doesn't necessarily translate into something that would be intersting on film. Luckily, he collaborates with a lot of choreographers and watches a lot of dance; so he has an understanding of the language of dance and how to use it in the language of film. He has an awareness, he says, of how movement and its pacing can be enhanced or disturbed by editing (slowing down, jump cut, crossfade, blackout, cutaway, etc.).
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