On Monday, my fellow Lucky Charms and I released our dance video to the song(s) Shadrach. I am so pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response to this artistic labor of love. Enjoy!
About two years ago, I had a small idea that the four of us (me, Giselle Anguizola, Joshua Welter, and Nathan Bugh) should work on a project. Naturally, we thought of a routine – that’s what performers do – and brainstorming commenced. On the occasions when were at the same event or through scheduled Google Hangouts, we landed on a different idea – a video.
Why video? Video removed many of the constraints of the traditional live performance context. Video allowed us to, among other things:
- Place the view on any side of us, not just “in front”
- Show any number from zero to four dancers on screen at once
- Play with orientation of the dancers (e.g. we filmed the opening third as if we were all facing in a circle; it was quite a feat to engineer which dancer would move to which “panel” and when)
- Create visual interest through the use of quick takes and single shots, etc.
I could say lots of about the financials, logistics, and planning involved, but it’s not a very sexy topic. It’s only interesting if you are launching a project similar in scope, particularly when people don’t live in the same city/state/side of the continent.
There is also plenty to say about our inspirational sources for this. Most relate to mood we wanted to establish and the sentiment we wanted to create, as well as the use of split screens and shadows.
Of course, we draw regularly from outside sources for dance inspiration, but the magic of this experience for me was in the creative cloud of this particular foursome working together. Great art can certainly come from an individual, but I have always found it more rewarding to share the process. I was honored to work with these fellow artists and friends.
Many thanks again to our director and creative partner, Joon Chang. Joon is a lindy hopper and a talented film maker. His probing questions to get us to the emotional content of we wanted to convey; his knowledge of the technical aspects of filming; and his willingness to work for free made this possible. I recommend checking out his other films via the link above.
Last but not least, a bevy of friends acted as film assistants in various capacities. From baking cookies to unloading equipment, from remotely focusing the camera to taking lunch orders, from supporting choreography to keeping me propped up while dancing with pneumonia (oh, did I mention I had untreated pneumonia when we filmed this?), this project would have been impossible without them. They are:
Thank you and to those that view this, I hope you can find a little bit of inspiration of your own. Let your art come from you.