Archive for the ‘artists’ Category

The Ballerina and the Bum at Kinetic Cinema

Kinetic Cinema presents:
The Ballerina and the Bum

a screening and discussion of the work of Eleanor Antin

Wednesday, May 8th 8pm @ Spectacle $5

I first saw Eleanor Antin’s ballerina persona on video at ICA Philadelphia’s Dance With Camera exhibition in 2009, and was captivated by the story behind her work. Antin herself had never studied ballet before but took lessons to embody a ballerina persona for a series of videos she made over many years. “Fake it till you make it,” is the ethos of the character and the process of making the work. “The Ballerina and the Bum”, made in 1974, is Antin’s first ballerina video. Like the character on screen, Antin herself was heading into the unknown with the role, discovering her quirks, her ambitions, and her motivations. Simultaneously video was a new medium at the time, and she wanted to explore its form, but also tell a compelling story. Thus, Antin’s videos are like intimate diaries, or documentaries of her various personas.

Later Antin would develop her ballerina persona into “Eleanora Antinova” the so-called black ballerina of Diaghalev’s Ballet Russes. This older, more refined character spawned a series of short films in the style of silent film that were compiled into “From the Archives of Modern Art.” Through all of these personas Antin delivers sharp and witty commentaries about the state of women in art, aging, breaking into a fiercely competitive field, and retaining one’s artistic integrity. Despite being almost 40 years old, “The Ballerina and the Bum” has the look and feel of an epic online video made today. Even the bum looks like a guy you know from Bushwick. The only difference between then and now is that the Ballerina would be trying to break onto the set of “So You Think You Can Dance”, and the bum would be a musician (or standup comedian).

At Kinetic Cinema we will be showing Antin’s “The Ballerina and the Bum”,  short excerpts from some of Antin’s other ballerina films, and a short by Rajendra Serber from the online film series “Dances Made to Order.”

124 South 3rd Street, between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street
Brooklyn, New York

Click here to learn more about Kinetic Cinema and our up-coming programs.

Pentacle’s Movement Media Project programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
KINETIC CINEMA is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Additional funding is provided by the generous contributions of individuals to Pentacle’s Movement Media Project.

Maine Island Dance Festival June 17-22, 2013

Maine Island Dance Festival is hosting their second annual dance intensive June 17-22, 2013 in Chebeague Island, Maine. This festival will include a 5 day intensive focusing on Countertechnique, Reactive Body Technique, Choreography, and Dance and Technology. The week will culminate with a performance featuring festival participants’ work in the choreography and dance technology classes.  Teachers include: Andrew Cowan, Kira Blazek, Holly Rothschild, Sheldon Smith, and Lisa Wymore.

day rate | 9-12  | $35
single class rate | $20

email to learn more.

My Take Away from Derrick Belcham’s Evening of Dance Films

Written by John Hoobyar, Pentacle staff member

Kinetic Cinema kicked off its fall season on October 10th with “The Take Away Dance” showing new films by Derrick Belcham. Derrick is a master of the improvisatory filming style of La Blogothèque’s “Take Away Shows” that feature indie musicians performing in unconventional spaces. After four years making “Take Away Shows,” Derrick recently began filming dance performances in the same vein, using nuanced camera movements and minimal editing. For Kinetic Cinema he showed eight of his recent dance films, six of which were shot less than a month ago.

Derrick’s camerawork has an agency rarely seen in dance films. Moving around the space, his camera may stray from one dancer to another, notice other objects in the scene, or only capture the dancer’s feet, mimicking a live spectator’s wandering eye. Instead of passively capturing the dancer on film, the moving camera becomes integral to the choreography of the film itself. Often made in one or two takes, the films convey the risks and chances taken by the performers by showing their motions in real time, mishaps and all.

Still new to dance, Derrick’s work hones in on the personalities of the dancers and their specific movements rather than the overall composition of the dances. Unlike in musical “Take Away Shows,” in which bands play set songs, the dancers in most of these films are improvising. This lack of structure, combined with Derrick’s infinite interest in the movements the dancers were doing, resulted in a few films that were too long. The endings seemed to come when he felt he had seen enough movement rather than when a compositional conclusion was found.

In La Blogothèque’s “Take Away Shows” we often get to hear the chit chat and commentary of musicians before and after they perform. These behind-the-scenes moments allow viewers to see their favorite artists as people they can relate to. Derrick chose not to include these “back-stage” narratives in his dance films – reinforcing the “otherness” of the dancers (and of dance in general). While these films may bring dance to new audiences, they arguably miss an opportunity to make dance feel accessible to people unfamiliar with the art form.

I will be curious to see how Derrick’s dance film work develops. Specifically, I look forward to seeing if he addresses these issues of composition and accessibility as he gains a deeper understanding of dance. With his appreciation of dance and his craft as a filmmaker, I imagine we will be seeing much more from this inspired artist.

Kinetic Cinema Premieres the Dance Films of La Blogothèque

Pentacle’s Movement Media and Spectacle present

Kinetic Cinema – The Take Away Dance

Wednesday October 10th, 2012 8pm & 9:30pm

Tomorrow night the first Kinetic Cinema of the season will feature a screening and discussion with filmmaker Derrick Belcham introducing the dance films of  La Blogothèque. Derrick’s Take Away dance films focus on the intersection of the camera, the dancer and the happenstance audience in the streets of New York City. Derrick will discuss the practice and theory of the Take Away Show and screen a selection of new works he shot in New York City. Following the screening there will be a Q & A with the filmmaker and selected artists from the films.

The films will include 5-10 pieces Derrick shot in September in New York specifically for premiere at this event.

New choreography from:
Chloe Kernaghan + Katherine Emily Mills
Rachel Korenstein
Stacy Grossfield
Mary Cavett
Ashley Matthews
Melanie Maar
Haylee Nichele
Chelsea Bonosky

New music and original scores by:
Julianna Barwick
Colin Stetson
Taraka Larsen (Prince Rama)
Pietro Amato (Luyas, Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre)
Mauro Remiddi (Porcelain Raft)
Simone Schmidt (FIVER, $100)
Hannah Epperson

Derrick Belcham is a Canadian filmmaker based out of Brooklyn, NY whose internationally-recognized work in vérité music documentary has lead him to work with artists such as Philip Glass, Thurston Moore and Wilco. He is presently working on a series of dance films featuring acclaimed dancers of New York City performing choreography and improvisations in the streets of the city.

Date and Venue information:
Wednesday,  October 10th, 8pm and 9:30pm
$5 admission (no reservations and very limited seating – come early!)

124 South 3rd Street
Brooklyn, New York
L train to Beford
J,M,Z train to Marcy Ave.

About Kinetic Cinema
Kinetic Cinema, is a regular screening series of Pentacle’s Movement Media curated by invited guest artists who create evenings of films and videos that have been influential to their own work as artists. When artists are asked to reflect upon how the use of movement in film and media arts has influenced their own art, a plethora of new ideas, material, and avenues of exploration emerge. From cutting edge motion capture animation to Michael Jackson music videos, from Gene Kelly musicals to Kenneth Anger films, Kinetic Cinema is dedicated to the recognition and appreciation for “moving” pictures. We have presented these evenings at Collective: Unconscious, Chez Bushwick, IRT, Launchpad, Green Space, Uniondocs, CRS, 3rd Ward, Fort Useless and The Tank in New York City, as well as at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.

Fall season at Spectacle on the Second Wednesday of the month:

Oct 10th: Derrick Belcham, a Brooklyn based filmmaker who will introduce the dance films of La Blogotheque and discuss the theory and practice of the “Take Away Show.”

Nov 14th: Suzon Fuks, an Australian-based multimedia artist will share some of the developments of dance for screen since she began making videos in the early 80s.

Dec 12th: Yanira Castro, a New York choreographer whose work in live performance extends into other media and online platforms and invites audience participation.

Pentacle’s Movement Media programming is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
KINETIC CINEMA is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Playing With the Audience

Noemie Lafrance, a notable dance filmmaker with a Grammy nomination and a Bessie award, constructed, disseminated, and played many games with her audience, the players of “Choreography for Audience- Take One.” Once I bought my ticket, I was assigned to team Green (I could have been Blue, Black, or Tan) and informed to come dressed in green from head to toe. Instructions were also attached that I reviewed before the show on Saturday. What I had anticipated to be simple one-part rules turned out to be a series of 12 games with multi-part, algorithmic derived instructions that considered the space, the relationships between players, the sequence of events, and unpredictable interruptions. I figured simpler instructions would guarantee clearer results and would better showcase the intended patterns- the choreography for the audience- so I was surprised to see such complexity!

To my relief, the first hour and a half was spent reviewing the rules with Team Captains and Team Leaders and was followed by a demonstration and brief practice. I felt a bit impatient to start and overwhelmed by various points of direction- our cheat sheets, the leaders, the TV monitor displaying the different games, and Lafrance commanding from the balcony.

Once the game started, the excitement was palpable. Some of the rules were broken, but it seemed more important that we kept moving and enjoyed ourselves. Eventually, I even worked up a sweat! Running back and forth through the taped grid on the floor while repeating movement vocabulary until all 200 players caught on required physical exertion. Although I did feel more like a player not a performer because of the game structure and the incentive to score points, I found myself in a recognizable environment, that of a staged performance. And at the end, I felt the post-performance adrenaline experience I encounter as a dancer. Only twice during the performance did I step out to watch from the balcony. After our 15 minute intermission, which felt more like a water break, I noticed more players stayed out of the game to watch. Lafrance encouraged this, partly because this opened the space opened and made the patterns more visible.

To remind you, this performance was the set for a film. In total, I counted four cameras. One moved between the balcony and performance space, another was overhead, rigged with the lights, a third strapped to a player’s chest, and the fourth was at times inside the grid. At this point, I’d like to suggest, that the audience played more than the role of subject in the filmmaking process. In the case of “Choreography for Audience- Take One,” we, the audience, wrote the script. Our choices as players, be they random, established a sequence of events. In other words, by merely playing the games set forth by Lafrance, we drafted the storyboard.

Once, I stood behind one of the cameramen to see the performance from his perspective. He was zoomed in quite tight following one player. This particular vantage point dissolved the teams. The player appeared as one of many bodies moving in disordered space. Lafrance’s work pays meticulous attention dance and camera choreography, fitting them together like a puzzle (see DESCENT and 1, 2, 3, 4). Given that she entrusted 200 people playing a game with the task of storyboarding her film, I’m looking forward to seeing how she organizes the randomness of “Choreographer for Audience-Take One” in the editing room.

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Move The Frame
Move the Frame is the official blog of Pentacle's Movement Media, a project serving to help dance and media artists make dances for screen and use media to market their dance work more effectively. Move the Frame is a locus for dialogue about the form and a clearing-house of information about all things dance and media related.
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