Thursday, October 23, 2008

Webvid 6b - The best moments are the best moments - Discovering "Stealing Forefront"

As you know, we've been filming ever rehearsal. We've been doing this for the purposes of keeping the possibility of making a hypermedia for this piece open, although the more it progresses the more i think i wouldn't really have a use for it. That being said, you never know, and especially if this piece turns to a film rather than a performance, having all this footage is a definite bonus. So. We film.

The other reason for the filming being that I wanted to further investigate the benefits of filming rehearsals for me as the choreographer, as it gives me the ability to watch and re-watch rehearsals. I've also noticed that knowing that i have a film of the rehearsal lets me act different as the choreographer/director in rehearsals, knowing that I don't need to spend rehearsal time being careful of holding on to details, and letting myself be much more impulsive in trying new things and putting myself fully in them rather than always being an outside eye.

I've also noticed that there are some downsides to it. In Enrico Wey's rehearsal, i noticed that as a dancer I felt a bit slower picking up movement and phrasing - partially because i haven't been to class in a while, but also because i'm used to having the luxury of being able to see something as many times as I want, in a way that doesn't hassle anyone or use their valuable studio time. So. There's that.

But what i really wanted to post about was a newish feature of the video work - using the footage as a lens for new material. This differs from the previously mentioned uses in that what i was picking up editing the video was something that a) i hadn't been focused on or aware of during the rehearsal and b) couldn't have seen if it were not through a video medium.

Here's what happened.
In looking at Jonothan's lovley footage from this saturday, i noticed that there were a few shots that didn't particularly show any of the specific movements that we were doing especially clearly, but they had a certain feel about them that was interesting and pleasing to my eye. I decided to make a little collage video of them, to show them just as aesthetic shots rather than what I have been doing, which is more mini-doc style. In editing them, i was able to finally understand why these shots were interesting to me and what they had in common: First, many of them framed the torso rather than the full body - a range of from the neck to the pelvis. Second, they all had moments of what i'm now calling "stealing forefront". This was reached when tow groups or individuals were working on different things, and the shot looking through one group to the other would create an interplay between the two fields that would shift according to what group was most interesting or active. Many times, one dancer would be still long enough that the foreground would become what was going on behind them, only to be stolen back when the dancer started moving.

This is fascinating and interesting to me, and I'm starting to think about how I can pull it into the dance and work with it on a choreographic and structural level by studying the effect it has on the film. So yes, video is still extremly helpful in this little quest, and in new ways every day.

Video collage of stealing forefront and various other aesthetics below:

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