Despite a thin turnout of less than ten people for the dance/film masterclass, we had a great, thougthful discussion with British filmmaker Alex Reuben today at Objectifs.
What constitutes a dance film as opposes to a document of a live performance? What are the possibilities of the camera, editing, technology, and sound in film? We had a good discussion in between four of his shorts and a feature documentary. The films spanned a broad scope of his work which includes dance as sociology-political comment, movement transformed by computer and technology into abstraction and pure line, dance with literary text. I liked his work best where he allowed the simplicity of images, movement and sound to do the speaking – in the catchy Line Dance where he creates astounding depth with only stick figures, and the impressive documentary ‘Routes’ that speaks volumes about race and politics in America without a single word or narrative text.
A DJ and visual artist by training, and a film maker with a pedagogical flair, Alex was really approachable and frank in his sharing. I didnt stay for the subsequent class by James Allen because (duh) I went to watch Shelly Love’s films at Cathay. Sadly I hear this class was even smaller than the first. The good news is that when I swapped over to Cathay in the afternoon, the Shelly Love films that had been advertised as ‘experimental’ managed to draw about 50 people.
Kudos to Danny K and Objectifs for pulling the masterclasses together against the odds. I hope we will have more dance film events in future.
Routes, Line Dance and a couple more of Alex Reuben’s shorts are showing tomorrow 6 June at the Cathay at 12.40pm (tickets from Sistic). The tough part is that you have to trade off the dance/film forum if you want to see them.
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