Microchoreography/Gesture Notes on Dancefilm for Queerskins: ark

Sherril Dodds: “Through close range filming, facial expressions and subtle gestures can become part of the dance and so the dancing body shifts from being a general body to one that is detailed and specific. ”

Loie Fuller Le Dans des Mans–total darkness except hands illuminated.

Balazs: “more space and time in the film was taken up by the inner drama…almost exclusively by close-ups” outer movement /inner drama


Disconnect between rhythm of music and body (slowed down) and words.


Body weight added to “light” filmic body via impact on sand and by close-up sound. Think about using sand and sound to create “weight” in the dance, invoke the weight of bodies.


Hand held shakiness and movement with body rather than static adds an extra rhythm which causes body to appear as more abstract–an additional rhythm. This is then broken by body sped up a little repeatedly falling in small space. Repetition and weight becomes an almost unbearable tension.


As viewer gets closer hears breathing and body sounds. Abstraction –can distance speed up the dance?????? This is a really amazing idea to connect time and space……See use of dissolves.


Hubert Godard describes a “plastic corporeal memory” in humans that is the “modelling of the tissues that generate the tensional organisation of our bodies” The process involves the tonic muscles which specialize in gravitational responses” and the contain our bodies “most ancient memories” regarding Tricia Brown’s works.

Micro-choreographies consist of TENDENCIES toward movement that never actualize as a crossing from position A to position B. but constitute an expressive force as acentered resonations. What dancefilms like Hands, Element discover are micro-movements on the surface of –as well as the flows of energy through–the body in close-up..

Look at abstraction in Man Ray Emak Bakia–we read these as mechanical because abstract or because non gestural, how can we use abstract surfaces as “faces”?

Visitor as camera –time and space linked. Farther away–faster? Closer –slower (the close-up of film. Shadows of performers/transluscent double as in Many Ray’s film?

A moment of the face looking at you is powerful recognition!

What effects can we get just with Depthkit alone? eg. light reflections? Dancing through C02?

Sand imprint of feet and bodies.

Moving camera or still–rhythm of visitor or both?

Repetition gives “weight” to actions.

Consider marking “privelaged spaces” e. g. transparency changes

consider using dancers in water –water to sand transition? ends with heavy body on sand?

Vivarium bake in light effects (after Loie Fuller)


light play vivarium.png


Narrative and Dance bodies as expressive vehicles

“negotiating the space between subject and film as dance negotiates a partner.”

***Can the visitors’ positioning alter the dance?  The dance becomes “a sensory surface”  that responds and articulates through motion?

Choreographer/Dancer Trevor Patrick: “The camera attempts to see that experience which is recorded in the tissues of the body, in ways which can be apprehended by an audience…The camera contemplates the action of breath, the subtle suggestion of movement under fabric, over skin, the details of gesture, posture and facial expression. Each of these elements offers the viewer a point of entry into the experience of the body. detail may be seen at the level of imagining.”


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