Notes from the March 25th Artist Salon: Dance for Web-an Emerging Genre

(“Maybe we all dream to be………?” by T.A.G.San Francisco, shown at the March 25th Artist Salon with Jaki Levy)

At the last Artist Salon on March 25th at Chez Bushwick, Jaki Levy, a media artist and new media consultant, discussed dance work created specifically for the web. The question of the evening was: Why should artists make dance films specifically for the web? In short, making dance videos for the web is convenient, inexpensive, and relatively easy to do.  For dance works in progress, posting videos on the web allows artists to conduct “audience test screenings”  and get feedback.  Web videos also offer artists the ability to communicate and mix media in different ways.

Jaki Levy compiled a few videos that gave us a peek into the present + future of dance, art, and technology on the web.  Some of the work was completely choreographed, others were more improvisational.  Jaki shared how videos are created for different purposes, and gave examples of what a digital performance world looks like, including live web casts, web series, and site specific performances.

For example, Tendu.TV is looking for a mass market for dance by offering high quality broadband content of dance concerts and dance for camera works. Jaki showed an example of a show produced for Tendu.TV by Marlon Barrios-Solano entitled “Dance-tech Ep. 1“. In this episode Marlon interviewed various international choreographers talking about their work and intercut the footage with excerpts from their New York performance seasons.

Troika Ranch was exploring a process of editing for their up-coming multi-media show, “Loop Diver”and shared it with their MySpace friends.  This process is called “Algorithmic editing” and it assaults the senses. In this experiment (a collaboration between Troika Ranch and Street Pictures), a simple phrase of movement is fractured into thousands of shots in various locations all over Brooklyn, New York.

3rd Rail Projects & Julie Fotheringham both used web video  to share their site specific performances with wider audiences. 3rd Rail Projects fully integrated  web activities into their recent month long performance series at the World Financial Center by posting videos online and writing about each day’s performance on their blog. In this way, the work had both an online life and a physical life that co-existed and supported each other.

Julia Fotheringham makes guerilla-style dances that interrupt normal routines and cause people to stop and observe. The video is both a document and a voyeuristic view of the performer’s journey through the city.

“A Facet of the Real” explored how performance in “first” life and Second Life can intersect, creating a trippy situation in which a live performance is viewed in real time by online avatars in a virtual venue.

Some artists make web videos for artistic purposes, others for marketing purposes, and some have both in mind.  The intention of web videos can be to develop audiences by hooking viewers online and enticing them to come to live shows or screenings, or to simply to post a personal video diary from the studio. The web space allows for both anonymous and public modalities and is as broad and rich as the physical world. What is exciting is how dance artists are starting to embrace the web for all its potential. It feels increasingly apparent that we are all media-makers now.

To see all the clips from the screening and read more commentary go to Jaki’s blog post at: http://www.arrowrootmedia.com

by Dawn Paap and Anna Brady Nuse

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3 Responses to Notes from the March 25th Artist Salon: Dance for Web-an Emerging Genre

  1. Jaki Levy says:

    First – thanks to all the artists and attendees.

    Second – One of the interesting questions that came up was that of genres + types of videos. Some videos have the purpose of being a sketch (vlogging style), while are others are documentation.

    We’ve also seen some videos that have the purpose of marketing (show announcemets).

    Going forward, it would be worthwhile to list out how different kinds of videos have different kinds of requirements and expectations (both artistically and technically).

    Thanks again for a great evening!

  2. Miklos says:

    Thanks for setting this up Jaki! I am honoured to be shown along with such greats as Troika Ranch and the NY City Ballet. More of my work will be shown on dance-tech.net and on YouTube under RolloKohime in search.

    Kind Regards,
    Mike Baker

  3. Pingback: The SLENZ Update – No 93, May 29, 2009 « Second Life Education in New Zealand

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