In the previous post, we made centipede yogurt stew. Yum! Now onto the video portion. Except, maybe we’re not talking about a plate of food anymore. Maybe we’re discussing a table with legs sharply angled away from the center…

When I set out to integrate video with dance, I had this idea in my head that I would let inspiration come only from video – that somehow there was supposed to be ONE foundation in the work, end of story.

I quickly discovered that sometimes we just needed to work on sections of the dance, and integrate a design concept later on. Or sometimes the video design really did feed the movement, and I needed to let that be the impetus. Either way, I got a taste of how integrated the project really is when we had our fundraiser on Saturday and the video that I showed was…a little boring.

Okay. It wasn’t REALLY boring, but without the context of the dance around it, the video just didn’t stand up on its own. And while I was slightly embarrassed at how tepid the response was to the video, I realized that this was ultimately a successful design – for Hotel in a Bottle. The scene leading up to the video – and what happens during the video – is what makes the video work inside the context of the piece.

If I may examine this from another angle, I am constantly hearing about how important it is to be able to see a dance work “on its own” – that it is somehow the measure of a piece’s success. How could that be possible in an interdisciplinary piece, if the intention is to blend the elements in a cohesive fashion? To create a dramaturgical arc, or special “moments” within a piece, sometimes you absolutely MUST lean elements against each other. Sometimes when the elements stand too much on their own, they never quite cohere together. Food for thought.

And with that, we’re back to the creative plate. Next up: the integration of music choices!

Erin also writes about her process on her own blog: erinmalley.tumblr.com

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