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Dance & Film Charrette

March 1, 2017

Over an intensive weekend Charrette starting this Friday, dance students studying choreography and film students will work together as directors, performers, editors and cinematographers to create dance films, music videos and multi-media performances. Led collaboratively by Tom Quinn, Film & Video Program Director, and Tania Isaac, Dance professor, this project is the latest collaboration between our Dance program and other Westphal disciplines. The charrettes in the past several years have been with our Digital Media programs and this is the first with Film & Video.
On Friday evening they will be leading students to produce short experimental collaborations to familiarize them with materials, equipment, perspectives and forms utilized in both fields. Following the workshop, choreographers and filmmakers will work with a basic camera package to break down their sequences and film them for maximum aesthetic impact. 
Faculty will be on standby to assist in the quick editing process for a screening on Sunday, free and open to the public at 6PM in the Mandell Theater.  
"For our students, the value goes beyond a specific interest in dance films. This allows them to think about theme without the constraints of narrative. At the same time, they want to optimize camera placement and sequence construction to emphasize the intent of the choreographer and bring the audience into the experience of the dancer. This is not unlike the work they would do in blocking any complex action or fight sequence and will benefit them regardless of the genre they work in," states Quinn.

"This year we have identified interested students and worked to leave them open-ended access to create whatever they are most curious about when they envision film, performance and its potential interactions," Professor Isaac said. "In a perfect world we'd love to find the beginnings of new ways of seeing and defining these intersections. They have three days to try." 

Isaac's dance education was fundamentally interdisciplinary and included opportunities to study related fields in science and technology. Inspired by the increasing interests of students to collaborate between programs, last year she inquired whether anyone in Film & Video would be interested in considering further how dance and film might better intersect and was directed to Quinn. Together they discussed their students mutual and overlapping interests as well as their own desire to shift and expand the student's experiences and capacity, ultimately creating nimble, facile and exploratory graduates.