Successfully capturing staged dance on camera requires an embodied appreciation of movement, an ability to pre-empt choreographic choices and to quickly grasp a composition as it unfolds. During a live show, stage lighting, simultaneous action across the stage and a need to grab precise, close-up moments of intimacy while maintaining an overall overview of the complete composition, knowing where to place each camera and how to frame a shot to capture that next jump, all on the fly, present a fantastic challenge. Editing a multiple camera shoot into a film that maintains the spirit of a piece and conveys it’s meaning and emotion, that is faithful to its rhythm and aesthetic, to the live audience experience of the piece, while revealing new angles and insights, requires an innate understanding of dance.
While working on such projects can be demanding and time consuming, I love the elation that comes from focusing intently on a staged dance piece. Even when spending a long succession of days cutting a piece I can feel transported by the energy of the dance. I love the challenge of getting into a choreographer’s head, and the opportunity to have an insight into their creative process.