Monthly Archives: July 2013

one experience

I had a look at the trailer for a new project by Teddy Forance and others called Movement One.

Fifteen seconds into the trailer, the voiceover (Forance?) says:

It’s always been a dream of mine to combine dance and film into one experience

The thing about this statement that frustrates me is that it seems to imply that this film is something extraordinary or unique, but really it’s just someone using words (any words) to convey ambition and marketing. What does one experience mean? One experience for whom? Audience, choreographer, dancer, filmmaker, camera operator?

Over the entire history of screendance perhaps it is the very few films that haven’t simply combined dance and film that are unique (or extraordinary).

This reminds me of Peter Schmidt’s idea (as told by Brian Eno) of ‘not doing the things that nobody had ever thought of not doing’. If the most basic assumption in screendance is to combine dance and film then it is vital that we continue to search for things that nobody has ever thought of not doing.

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starting out

I teach an undergraduate screendance module at Roehampton Dance and thought it might be good to hear from one of the students from last year.

Alice Underwood is a new dance graduate, and has a rapidly developing interest in making screendance work. She responded to some questions via email.

  • What interests (or excites) you about screendance?

I am extremely interested in the process of creating screendance and the layers that constitute these works. You can create an idea and choreograph directly, then have the ability to choreograph using the camera and specific shots and angles, and then manipulate the scenes through editing, layering of music and sound. As well as this the ability to share work now is amazing, with the internet, sites such as youtube, vimeo and social media sites creates a platform for this to take place easily.

  • Which practices or practitioners are you influenced by in your screendance work? (and why/how)

Shona McCullagh’s work I find very influential, featuring dance as a narrative medium. Her work can be very moving and engaging. They are not only beautifully danced, filmed and edited but it touches on subjects that many people can relate to.

Mitchell Rose has also been of influence to me, his work being humorous and cleverly constructed. In particular his short film Case Studies from the Groat centre for Sleep Disorders is made as a documentary, taking the micky out of various situations, but in a serious way. It is choreographed brilliantly and actually very believable.

I am also influenced by works from Katrina McPherson and Becky Edmunds. There is a simplicity to some of their work which is very intriguing. Sometimes it is just a zoom out that makes the piece, and this I find very powerful.

  • What do you understand the term screendance to mean?

Simply I understand it as dance made/incorporated for the screen. I feel screendance is a very open term to represent the freedom that comes from using a camera to capture dance/movement/emotion etc, therefore I feel it is very hard sometimes to say what is and what is not screendance.

  • What kinds of projects would you like to be involved in?

I don’t think there is any specific types of project that I would like to be involved in, just really as many as I can. I am rather new to the world of screendance therefore I feel I need to explore the various possibilities that screendance holds.

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