Now that we’re over being thankful (in the States at least), and have shifted into consumer overdrive for Christma-channu-kwaan’stice, I thought I’d list some good gifts ideas for videodance fanatics (like me!). It’s hard to find gifts related to dance for the camera, so before you fruitlessly Google search, here’s a list to get you started:
Video compilations and DVD’s:
|First Run Features has taken the lead in producing high quality video compilations of recent dance for camera shorts. I loved Volume 1, and refer to it constantly. Some favorites from this collection are Pascal Magnin’s Contrecoup and Annick Vroom’s RIP. Vol. 2 looks promising too with Motion Control by the Brit team Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie, and Mitchell Rose’s hilarious Case Studies from the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders.|
Mystic Fire Videos puts out great collections of past dance film innovators. This is the place to brush up on your history. I recommend:
|Maya Deren Experimental Films
The complete collection of all of Maya Deren’s shorts. A must-have for dance film aficiondos.
|The Films of Hilary Harris
Four short films by Hilary Harris including his Academy Award-winning “Organism.” His film techniques are still remarkable today, and of special interest is his “9 Variations on a dance theme” featuring a beautiful young Bettie DeJong (of Paul Taylor).
Unseen Cinema: VIVA LA DANCE, The Beginnings of Ciné-Dance
Part of Anthology Film Archives’ incredible Unseen Cinema 7 disc box set.
The entire box set is a treasure for cinephiles, but VIVA LA DANCE
features dance in early cinema (1894-1946) with 33 films including some
of the earliest films ever made! This DVD will blow your mind!
by Liz Aggiss, Billy Cowie
This book compiles the history of performance & media dance makers Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie. In addition to the full color book, there is an accompanying DVD featuring excerpts of their work both on stage and in film. Very entertaining and inspiring for videodance enthusiasts!
|Making Video Dance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dance for the Screen
by Katrina McPherson
A simple and comprehensive manual on how to make videodance. Great for dancers new to processes of film and video production.
|Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde
edited by Bill Nichols
As you can tell, I’m obsessed with Maya Deren. That said, this is a really intriguing compilation of essays by other film and dance artists about
the importance of her work in history. It also includes a reprint of one of her treatises “An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film” that is priceless.
I’m not much of a gearhead, but I do lust after new toys to make videodances with. Here are a couple that have caught my attention lately:
|Canon HV20 HD Camcorder $899 (after rebate)
I got hooked on HD video after borrowing a HD camera from my friend to shoot “Fünf ‘n’ Twist” last spring. Even the little consumer HD camcorders deliver an incredible image, and they are getting cheaper and cheaper! I’ve usually gone with Sony, but this Canon has been getting good reviews, and I like that it takes hd minidv tapes, which is easier to handle than a hard drive.
|Glidecam 4000 Pro Stabilizer System
I found this while looking for a steadycam to rent online. This is a low budget alternative to a steadycam, and lets you do choreographic handheld shots. I also found some fun demo videos on the AllMobile video site. I would call this a videodance!
I realize I’m missing editing software suggestions. Any editors out there? Help us out and give us your wish list for videodance thingamajigs.