Deirdre Towers's Blog (33)


I began this blog a long time ago, so long that I almost forgot why I started it. I got distracted and absorbed in possible tangents. I stumbled on the possibility of creating an installation for prisons, after I learned Eastern State Penitentiary takes…


Added by Deirdre Towers on September 21, 2015 at 9:11am — No Comments

The nose knows...

My mother asked me when I was a child of what - maybe 11 - "what did I want to be when I grew up?" "Perfume," I replied. She said nothing. Now, I imagine how hopelessly impractical I must have seemed.

But I wonder where such an aspiration came from? For years living with the fiercely invasive smells of NYC, my nose almost shut down. Somehow my nose was very protective. But given my childhood ambitions and my mature inclination to shut down one of the 5 senses, I wonder what…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 1, 2015 at 11:52am — No Comments

Remembering Alyssa

Ice Dance Theatre will honor Alyssa Joy Stith on February 25, 1pm on the first of their performances at Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. 

A month ago, I posted a video of Alyssa Joy Stith doing a short improv with cellist Chris Lancaster. 214 viewings in a day, now nearing 700. A testament to how many friends she had. I still don't know anything about why she is no longer with…


Added by Deirdre Towers on February 18, 2015 at 2:38pm — No Comments


Would like to know whether anyone in has a network to recommend for getting videos into high schools. Please let me know. 

Also, has anyone had any luck getting into the network for LETS MOVE, Michelle Obama's campaign. One would think this network would be a…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 8, 2013 at 8:54am — No Comments

re:PLAY 2013 in Imphal, Manipur

The screening of the two part film OLYMPIA directed by Leni Riefenstahl in 1936 made the women in re:PLAY 1913's audience to acknowledge the power of the female gaze. How often do we see evidence of that? Riefenstahl's exquisite framing of superb bodies in action,…


Added by Deirdre Towers on January 29, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

From Peking to Queens to Manipur

If a slim, handsome man or woman waits on you in a Manhattan restaurant, you just assume they are performers. But do you do the same in Chinatown and Flushing? Perhaps you should.  Since 1988, Qi Shu Fang, master of Chinese Opera, has been developing her own Peking Opera Company with her husband…


Added by Deirdre Towers on October 22, 2012 at 3:53pm — No Comments

Sticking to the essentials: Peter Kubelka

I just spent 4 rewarding hours in the company of Peter Kubelka, courtesy of the filmmaker Martina Kudlacek. He is a Viennese man absolutely sold on his own ideas, so eager to share them, and so charmed by their endless possibilities, that we must dispend any skepticism. Martina Kudlacek, who made the 2002 documentary…


Added by Deirdre Towers on October 10, 2012 at 6:24pm — No Comments

Jason Akira Somma's "Phosphene Variations"

What does Jason Akira Somma’s installation “Phosphene Variations”  recently on exhibit at Soho’s Location One have in common with Snoop Dogg’s performance with Tupac this last April in Coachella? Both are take-offs of Pepper’s Ghost, a centuries old illusion popularized by John Henry Pepper in 1862 in which an…


Added by Deirdre Towers on October 4, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Dare

Soledad Barrios dares to touch us, to appeal to our empathy, and evoke an image of courage despite impossible circumstances. This ‪Madrileña‬, acclaimed by Alastair Macauley to be one of the greatest dancers of any genre, seems now to transcend dance all together. She commands our…


Added by Deirdre Towers on September 30, 2012 at 12:04pm — No Comments

Norsk Festival for Dans Og Film 2012

"We drank wine, watched porno films, danced as though we were dancing contact improv or working for Forsythe, Kylian, Anne Teresa de Keersmaker, " said the charismatic dancer Jordi Cortes Molina about his collaboration with Daniel Munoz in the making of COUP DE GRACE based on two men whose friendship was brought to an abrupt stop - only to be tested again after 40 years. "We tried everything to get to all the layers of the friendship of these two men with their long long history together.…


Added by Deirdre Towers on August 24, 2012 at 6:29pm — No Comments

Imagery as starting or ending point

Tonight I will perform at St. Marks Church in Dagmar Spain's YELLOW IS NOT GOLD. Will I be able to replace the moments in the piece that feel amorphous with those that feel potent and compelling? At least, in the heat of the night - or was it the morning?, I had a germ of an idea. As much as I would like to share it, Daniel Nagrin once advised his choreographic students never to reveal the basic impulse for your choreography. Guard it as your secret. But the question I pose is whether the…


Added by Deirdre Towers on June 23, 2012 at 11:07am — No Comments

Homeless but not hopeless

On January 30, 2012, NYC's Department of Homeless Services runs its eighth Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). The survey estimates the number of individuals living on the streets, in parks and in other public spaces in New York City. A survey is a federal requirement for all cities wishing…


Added by Deirdre Towers on January 7, 2012 at 6:02am — No Comments

A word with En Dedans director Gabrielle Lamb


Gabrielle Lamb, USA, 2011; 10m

A one-of-a-kind film collage that draws on dancers’ dream journals, choreography, structured improv and spoken text.…


Added by Deirdre Towers on January 6, 2012 at 12:37pm — No Comments


In 1994, I looked out at the sparse Dance on Camera Festival audience at Anthology Film Archives and asked anyone whether they had any suggestions for building the festival. Margaret Williams, the brilliant British director of OUTSIDE IN, came out of the dark from the back of the house, to shake my…


Added by Deirdre Towers on December 22, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

Thoughts on Clara van Gool's COUP DE GRACE

I'm excited to finally meet Clara van Gool whose latest work COUP DE GRACE (see the making of) indicates that she is ready to do a feature film, which she apparently is. Her website indicates that she is working on a feature inspired by Henry James' short story Beast in the Jungle. With that in mind, I have been reading James stories. The Aspern Papers is an amazingly gripping read,…


Added by Deirdre Towers on November 17, 2011 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Overview on Dance on Camera

What is a dance film?

Purely speaking, a dance film is one in which dance and film/video are both integral to a work. This simple definition separates dance films from archival records of stage or site specific dance compositions. The makers of dance films…


Added by Deirdre Towers on April 20, 2011 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Discovering G.K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was a British writer whose criticism holds up over time. His depiction of "A Midsummer's Dream" reveals such a fresh perspective with an acute sense of how Shakespeare "catches the atmosphere of a dream. The personalities are well known to everyone who has dreamt of perpetually falling over precipices or perpetually missing trains. ... The author contrives to include every one of the main peculiarities of the exasperating dream. Here…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 17, 2011 at 11:33am — No Comments

ACDF Videos at Muhlenberg College

The editor Daniel Kontz for THE CAMERA BETRAYS YOU submitted by Liz Staruch and Mark O'Maley from West Chester University is a young talent to follow. Daniel transformed the team's flip-book idea into a dynamic, graphically pleasing jaunt, taut with tension. Shot on the High Line in NYC, THE CAMERA BETRAYS YOU makes you grin and wonder, as it draws you into its go-go/freeze rhythm. The video was created with 10,000 photographs of action and celebrated by the High Line on their website.…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 15, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

Kinetic Image Composition

Does one always set out to communicate when one writes?


No, sometimes you are just trying to understand your thoughts,

study your dreams, wrestle with something you heard, did, or saw, come to

grips with the mysteries of being.


Communication begins when you think about someone other than just yourself.


This might be why good writing is also…


Added by Deirdre Towers on March 5, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Proprioceptive writing as a tool for dance filmmakers

Laura Taler, maker of the wonderful A VERY DANGEROUS PASTIME and Village Trilogy, said during her talk at Dance on Camera Festival that one of her professors urged her to use proprioceptive writing as a vital part of her practice. So I decided to explore that further. Unfortunately can't do a course that starts this week called HOW TO HEAR YOURSELF: A 5-DAY PW IMMERSION, SPRING STREET, NYC. The course descriptions includes "Through PW you learn to listen to your thoughts…


Added by Deirdre Towers on February 16, 2011 at 12:40pm — 1 Comment

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