The Dance Films Association was founded in 1956 by Susan Braun. The DFA is “the catalyst for the production, presentation, and preservation of dance on camera.” According to the website, they are “dedicated to furthering the art of dance film by connecting artists and organizations, fostering new works for new audiences, and sharing essential resources.” DFA has a range of programs including educational programs and a Dance for the Camera festival.
Then, pick one of the following three videos:
Frances Wessels: A Portrait of 89 Years, by Jason Akira Somma, 2009
Amelia by La La La Human Steps, 2002
Raven Study by Charlotte Griffin, 2007
Start a new thread and write a description of the dance film you watch. Make sure you include the title and artist. Use the Elements of Dance vocabulary. What do cinematography and choreography have in common? What do you think of this genre? Have you seen any films like this before? Spend 50 words on the movement description. Write another 50 words (for a minimum of 100 words total) explaining your reaction to this genre. Include your perspective on the Dance Films Association archive project. Why would this archive be important? Do you think the dance film that you watched should be included in such an archive?
Create an original thread and write a minimum of 100 words. Respond to two classmates’ threads and write a minimum of 50 words in each response.
I chose La La La Human Steps and this was impressive beyond all measures. Space had such an important role because of how much movement this dance consisted of. It was very fast paced with mostly sharp movements. It was often that the man was “controlling” her movements, but she moved with such ease that it was a group effort showing their synchronicity. The lighting and set gave a very dramatic feel to the dance, there were shadows used that incorporated that feeling and the light in the back did as well. Both cinematography and choreography consist of creators making a piece of work. I have seen films like this before, but it’s different as my perspective has changed after learning what I have in this course. I feel like the DFA archive project is very admirable because they are trying to keep art alive while also inspiring new creators. This dance could definitely be included in that because of how many different aspects were shown in this one piece.
I chose to watch Raven Study by Charlotte Griffin. This piece was definitely very strange because of the way the performance changes so much. The woman starts with her movements being very reserved and slow as she’s on the ground, and as the performance goes on, it changes to sharp rhythmic movements, then it changes to her jumping and doing poses in the air as the drummer does the same. I thought this was pretty strange. I also thought it was weird that the actual drum was in the video and part of it when usually the music or instrument is played in the background and out of sight. This performance and genre was interesting to say the least, I didn’t really understand it but I can tell it was executed very well. My perspective on the DFA archive project is that its a good idea and a good way to keep things fresh and bring more attention to different kinds of dance.
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