Re: [Frameworks] Dance films

From: David Tetzlaff <>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2011 08:04:31 -0400

A problem with 'dance films' is that dancers and choreographers don't much like film. They're always looking for film/video folks to shoot 'documentation'. They want to see the whole body, they want to see the whole pattern of choreography, they don't want the time and space they've so carefully framed fractured. Of course, these 'documentations' are painful to watch for anyone but the dance artists themselves -- and I'm not suggesting that any 'dance films' fall into this category. But the tension between dance as an art that exists in real time and space, and film as an art that does not regularly troubles the genre. In a dance film, 'film' is the noun and 'dance' is an 'adjective' and its a rare dancer who gets that and is willing to go with it.

The whole trend toward 'intermedia' and 'arts and technology' has generated oodles of dance-based moving image works, mostly on video, none of which are memorable enough to come into mind specifically. If you Google "interactive dance video" or 'multimedia dance' you should get some hits.

As for notable dance films, I can mostly only second some of the canonical works already mentioned:
Deren (but add Meditation on Violence and Divine Horsemen)
'Breakaway' by Bruce Conner (but add Roger Beebe's 'remix' TB/TX Dance)
Meridith Monk's films incporporate dance ideas in interesting ways, even if they're not 'dance' per se...

I'd also note 'Girlfrienbd is Better' from 'Stop Making Sense'. Interestingly, due to copyright, the only version you find on YouTube is backwards, so its escapes the recognition filters:
But you can download it, reveree it, and put the two parts together, like Breakaway, or just watch it backwards.
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Received on Fri Sep 02 2011 - 05:04:41 CDT