Jody Sperling - Time Lapse DanceJody Sperling is a dancer, choreographer and dance scholar. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance. This is Jody's blog.
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Bird’s Eye View

Kevin Colton, the official photographer of Hobart & William Smith Colleges, enthusiastically documented Time Lapse Dance’s residency there March 24-27. Once it was over, I ended up with a pile of DVDs containing no less than 3,826 images. Kevin was there for my master class, the company’s technical rehearsal in the theater, our dress rehearsal, and then, still not bored, he mounted his camera on the lighting grid to get overhead shots of the public performance.

The camera had an extreme wide-angle and Kevin sat in the audience with a remote trigger. Unfortunately, the shutter sound was clearly audible, so he was somewhat inhibited from snapping away. Moreover, a chip in his camera was partially corrupted, so only the first two pieces of the program (my solo “Clair de lune” above and “Bang for the Buck” below) were captured. However, the shots he did get were extraordinary. I was especially excited to have this perspective on my work. We’ve got a lot of great photos of repertory, but this was something new.

It’s been making me think a lot about viewpoint. Back in 2006, when developing the mirrored set piece for Roman Sketches with Philip Drew, we had discussed the idea of suspending a large mirror over the stage angled so that it would reveal an overhead vantage point to the viewer.

Other ideas that are lingering: doing a site-specific piece in a sunken auditorium so the audience is above; making a film shot from this angle; expanding this photo essay into an art project in it’s own right, i.e. a book.

One last thought, my favorite overhead film which I will re-do one day:

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