dance on camera
Dance on Camera is an art form that takes the vocabulary of dance movement and physical human expression and combines it with the intimacy and mobility of film. With Dance on Camera, a dance piece is no longer confined to the theater or to the distance between dancer and viewer. A close up at the exact time the choreographer and/or director desires leads the viewer on a more exact journey through the piece being presented. Location plays a role in the context of the dance and cinematography becomes part of the choreography.
There are a lot of approaches to Dance on Camera, also known as Dance on Film, Cine Dance or Screen Dance. The structure may be driven by a narrative or may be based on a design concept. It could be meant as visual poetry, a dream or an interpretation of a myth.
By combining film and dance, it expands the possibility of both. For film, often dance on camera pieces use no dialogue, instead relying on the universal expressions of the human body. By doing so, it opens the door to interpretation and accessibility for understanding and relating to the film. A simple gesture can be interpreted in numerous ways while the set definition with in a series of words can be limiting. When dialogue is used, it is often used to accentuate the movement and to give context for the choreography. For dance, the use of editing and cinematography alters the presentation of the dance in a way live performance cannot.
The history of Dance on Camera can be traced back to the beginning of cinema when silent pictures used gestural expression as a primary tool. Films starring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton expanded physical movements into comedic territories. This led to the era of big musicals, when the story being presented suddenly broke out into dance. Often these dance sequences moved the story along and gave context to the situation of the characters dancing. The love of two people would become evident in their dance number or the intensity of the situation would be expressed through the aggressiveness of the choreography. One of the most famous examples of this would be the prologue sequence in West Side Story.
Experimental filmmakers started using dance as a means of its own, not simply as a way to express what a character is feeling or to move a story a long. They started using modern film making techniques to makes works that were singular films and not moments with in film. Maya Deren, Merce Cunningham, Lloyd Newson and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker are all artists who expanded the scope of dance on camera through out the last forty years.
What our local dance on camera company Hole Dance Films creates is a way to expand on the expression of this valley. There is a uniqueness to Jackson Hole that is evident in the various art forms that are practiced here. The more a specific place inspires and feeds its creative community, the more creative ways of expressing this becomes apparent. Hole Dance Films has found its place amongst the innovative artists who live here and draw inspiration from living here.
Come hear about their creative process on Thursday, October 25, 5:30 PM at The Rose.