Saturday, July 3, 2010

About last night

Met up with friends and artists for a Dance Film Night at Ilana’s house. A group of us gets together a couple times a year to watch choreography made for the camera and artists who do not often tour to the US. Last night’s menu was Thierry de Mey (based in Charleroi), Shazam by Philippe Decouflé, DV8’s Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men from 1989, Dance for Camera 2 (last get-together we watched 1) and Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A and Volleyball (Foot Film). Not only is it great to see the work, but the discussions that ensue provoke laughter and arguments. It is especially refreshing to hear how each of us defines the purpose of dance, of art, what inspires us and what turns us off. If you have suggestions about cool dance/camera collaborations, please add a comment.

Last night we got on the topic of why DC seems to have so few choreographers working with film and video and Amanda and I remembered that the Dance & Camera exhibit in Philadelphia was curated by Jenelle Porter. I wrote to her after seeing the exhibit to ask if she came from a dance background and she replied: “I don't come from film studies or dance education. I have been a contemporary art curator for many years now, and I was inspired to organize the show after seeing some great works about dance by visual artists-the works I presented in the show.”

Today I was just at Flashpoint and saw Jeffry Cudlin’s By Request which includes a video of his dancing – in a dress and heels – as he visited different galleries in DC. A favorite moment occurs when you see Cudlin through the spaces of a woman’s shoes in the foreground as he dances in the background.

Maybe the growing popularity of crossovers between genres points to a fertile direction for dance and performance: interdisciplinary ventures that ignite the unique capabilities of different ways of communicating. Cudlin’s exhibit at Flashpoint is awesome in its ability to expose the forces and subjectivities that determine value. Philippa Hughes, founder of Pink Line Project, appears in photographs in the exhibit, was one of the art luminaries Cudlin approached to take part in the project, and is someone who inspires me with her ability to support and promote creative thinking in DC. The exhibit runs until July 31.

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