Saturday, November 21, 2009


In an attempt to find a location to shoot this piece, I came upon my roommate's closet. I really like the space, and I started playing with clothes. The short clips below is what I've come up with so far. I know it is not new and original but I LOVE it. I'm wondering if it is a different piece, though. I am continuing to shoot this evening/tomorrow and we'll see if the original piece and these ideas are tied together or not. Sigh...

PLEASE ignore the underwear. I was playing with costume ideas.... "underwear in a closet" but I'm going to wear shorts because it is a little too much for me to watch myself in underwear as I edit. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Split Frame

Hello all,

Another post from me and my work/struggle with this piece :) I was unable to rehearse last week because I caught a cold, so this is footage from two weeks ago. I'm playing with which perspectives to use and how to edit them together. Below you will find split screen and an edited sequence. I decided to try NOT looking at the camera. Please ignore the off-center positioning of the split screen, as I just threw it together quickly so I could post it on the blog. Also the light/color is poor, again because I'm just playing with body/camera movement right now. I'm curious to get feedback about which sequence is more interesting to watch. I like both for different reasons. The split screen allows the viewer to go back and forth as they chose, and the edited sequence feels like it reveals what is happening a bit more slowly. 

Also, after a lot of going back and forth about whether or not to include the camera as part of the duet, I think I like it without. Below is the split screen I edited WITH the camera. It just seems sort of blah and redundant to me. "Of course that is what you are doing with the camera in order to get those interesting shots with the body, Ally!" I don't know, though, maybe not? Maybe seeing the camera is what is interesting and different about this "duet". The choreography is so clunky with the camera, I just don't find it interesting to watch. Here it is anyway, though. I'd be curious to get some outside opinions on whether or not the camera should be SEEN as part of the final film. Maybe it is revealed at the end? 

Also, I'm starting to think about LOCATION and COSTUME. Obviously right now I'm rehearsing in a studio with rehearsal clothes, but I'm at the point where I need to start practicing in the space where I will be shooting, so please comment with any suggestions you have! I'm thinking since it is such an intimate perspective on the body (via Ari's comments) I will try shooting in a "home" space (living room, etc.) which might reveal a type of voyeurism. My only other thoughts now are either an outside space (stereotypical and not supportive of the content?) or a neutral space (not enough narrative support as to WHY this dance film is happening?).  Please leave comments!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Catalyst Rehearsal Two

Ah, again I arrive at the blog with a knot in my stomach. I'm taking a deep breath and going for it! Enjoy!

This week I played with one phrase that I started to develop last week. I added on and experimented with looking at the camera. I really enjoy the "one take" riskiness of this phrase, as well as the quick spins and swings that feel like a roller coaster when I watch them. There are two attempts at the phrase, and at the end of the video I filmed myself doing the phrase without the camera.

This phrase feels "playful" and makes me want to shoot this on a grassy field on a beautiful day - which is probably playing into a lot of stereotypes about what it is I'm doing. Looking at the camera just amplifies that stereotype, and I'm unsure how I will play into that, or not.

I'm not so into the movement phrase without the camera because it seems all about he hands (since I am usually holding the camera in my hands). This gets me thinking about how ELSE to hold the camera (body parts, other support devices, etc.). I will probably put this "phrase without the camera" on my shot list regardless, in case I want to cut it into the piece at some point.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catalyst One

*I'm just realizing how incredibly scary it is to make my entire process available for people to experience and comment upon. YIKES! I'm trying something brand new and it sure is frightening. Well, here goes!

Currently, I'm working on a dance film for Los Angeles Movement Arts' (LAMA) show Catalyst that will be performed December 5th at the Diavolo Space in downtown Los Angeles.

Guidelines for the proposal:

The idea: "Necessity is the mother of invention,"
Hence: "Produce a piece that incorporates a non-dancer human being. This person must play a significant role in the piece."
Take this directive whichever way your creativity leads you.

Information about the show:

Catalyst - As we have seen in all areas of culture and the arts, most innovation is born out of the limelight, away from the crowds, arising from the urge and the need to change the status quo. Such changes were often part of the struggle by a new generation in their attempts to create and establish their own identities, something unique and different from what had come before. The initial spark might be simple, but the journey itself is always full of purpose. This is what LAMA hopes to achieve with this show. We hope that your participation in Catalyst will ignite that spark within and that it encourages you to continue the journey with clear purpose and intention.

My proposal:

My proposal for Catalyst
is a dance for the camera work consisting of duet between a dancer and a video camera (the non-human element of the work). It will explore possibilities of how the camera can move with the human body. I will develop movement for the camera using choreography structures and then mirror or contrast those structures in the body’s choreography and vice versa. I am curious how the fluid, malleable human body can move with such a structured piece of technology. Will the camera take on a personality or remain simply an object with a function for human use? What kind of relationship can develop between a body and a camera? Does this relationship mirror humankind’s relationship with technology in general?

I am also interested in using the camera to play with perspective. When watching film, the camera provides the viewer’s perspective, but if the camera takes on a perspective on its own, how will that change the viewer’s experience, if at all? Sometimes the dancer will hold the camera and sometimes I will use camera “tricks” such as hanging the camera or setting it on a long monopod in order to give the camera a “life” of its own. In addition, the duet will be filmed from the outside with a second camera so the viewer has the perspective of the “dancing” camera with the body. Cutting between these three perspectives will gradually reveal the reality of the camera/human/camera trio and allow the audience to viscerally experience being inside and outside the dance simultaneously.

My first rehearsal:

Below is a compilation of video clips from my first rehearsal. I played in the studio with how I could move the camera while I was also moving. I edited all of my favorite clips together and am now looking at the footage to see what is interesting and how the parts could fit together.

I also filmed the camera and me from an outside perspective. The two shots played side to side look interesting, (the camera I'm holding and the outside camera) and I'm thinking about playing with that in the editing or projection somehow. I can't put those side to side in my editing software right now, but hopefully I'll get that up on here at some point.

This first shoot/edit rehearsal also brought up the following questions/observations:

Is the camera movement exciting or just sickening?

Does the camera become a "duet" partner or simply a tool to examine the body's movement?

Background and costume will be important in the shoot. I need to start brainstorming about WHERE this will be shot and what I will wear. Skin is more interesting to watch, but my costume needs to fit the vibe of the piece.

I'm feeling a little lost on the intention of the piece beyond just playing with the camera. We'll see next rehearsal if I can play with the relationship between the dancer and the camera more, as well as get more movement/camera sequences set in order to begin to play with sequence.

I am also beginning to clarify my intentions and areas of interest in creating this work including the following:

I LOVE the visceral feeling of movement that a viewer can have by watching a mover (on stage or film).

I LOVE close-up shots, revealing the work of the body and in this instance, how close-up can contribute to the visceral feeling of the viewer.

As always, I would LOVE to hear your ideas! Please comment!


Hello, and welcome to my choreography blog! Please visit this site to see updates on the process of my current choreograph projects. In an attempt to connect my work to my peers, friends, family and community (both dancers and non-dancers) I hope to use this blog as a site where people can comment and give feedback on my pieces as they make their way from idea to creation process to completion. Please, please, PLEASE leave your comments, suggestions, ideas, thoughts etc.