art | embodiment | cognition | networks | post-humanism | crypto
I found this video to be very interesting because the choreographer and the videographer both appealed to human senses in a very striking way. The dancer was in a small hallway with a barred exit, and although in reality there was plenty of space, the choreographer and videographer worked together to make it seem like the dancer was trying to escape from a very confined area. The dancer performed movements that were too big for the space and stretched and expanded to his fullest potential in order to make the space seem smaller. He worked against the two walls to create shapes to seemingly fight the confines of the walls. Much of the movement was directed towards the exit with a sense of desperation.
The camera would pan from down the hallway so we could see the confinements of the hallway in full, as well as zooming on the dancer in such a way that made the viewer feel as if they are also stuck in this space because we are so close. The camera zoomed in on the dancer’s sweat, the rising and falling of his chest, and his expressions so we could sense his anxiety. When zoomed away, the dancer was backlit and we were able to see the contrast between the space he occupied and the very little space he wasn’t. The editor also cut to different clips very quickly, and one moment that was particularly interesting was when it cut from a back-lit silhouette to a fully lit shot of the dancer’s face. This effect, combined with the focus of the camera going in and out, created tension and almost felt like the panic was hindering the sight of the viewer. A choice that I thought was incredibly effective in creating tension was the increased volume of the dancer’s breathing and the white noise in the background. This made it seem like we were inside the dancer’s mind and the viewer and the dancer became the same person.
This was a film project done by a student, and although I disagree with some of the choices, I think there were smart choices made in regards to the spaces chosen. In the beginning of the video, we see the dancer in a brown and grey, rocky, plain area. The dancer is dressed in a bright orange astronaut costume, and the focus of the shot is on the hay in front of the dancer. This makes the dancer seem separate, smaller, and less significant than the actual space. The camera zooms to the dancers feet as she takes a few steps, and because it is slow it seems like she is walking somewhere without the force of gravity, making it look as if she is on another planet. She leaves this barren place and arrives at a green, luscious field, and she moves within a few small places that aren’t covered in plants. The shot is filmed from above, so the dancer still seems small and in space, but like she’s on another planet as the scene is so opposite from the first. We later see the dancer backlit by a sunset over the ocean, and while this is beautiful, I wondered how this was relevant or if the videographer just wanted to seize a great opportunity for filming. The choice of spaces to film was the most striking part of this video, as the main film and editing techniques were zoom and the manipulation of time.
I had questions about the choreography of this video. Because it was titled The Astronaut, I had some preconceived notions about what the dancing would be like. Most of the movement was grounded, inherently slow, and inward towards the dancer. I am not sure what the intention of the choreographer and videographer was, but because it seemed as if she was on another planet, I wanted to see the dancer leap in slow motion over the camera or suspend in positions that could be manipulated to look like she was floating. Again, maybe this wasn’t the intention, but I feel like there were missed opportunities. The second choice I did not agree with was the use of text and lyrics in the music. There were too many words to focus on, and eventually I had to ignore them all. I feel as if the music and lyrics were the only words or the poem was the only text, than it could be more effective. Overall I thought this was a good video, but served as a learning experience for me as a future dance videographer!