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!

1 comment:

  1. That video is really risky, I keep thinking you're going to drop the expensive camera every single dip you do with the camera on one hand. Wow. Kudos for keeping it under control.