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DancefilmChoreography and the Moving Image$
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Erin Brannigan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367232

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367232.001.0001

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Anarchic Moves, Experimental Cinema

Anarchic Moves, Experimental Cinema

(p.125) 5 Anarchic Moves, Experimental Cinema

Erin Brannigan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In choreography where the moment between phrases is highlighted, sustained, and dispersed (instead of being reduced to the status of “transition” between ideal movements and forms), anarchic phrasing results. Such phrasing can be found in postmodern dance practices as well as social and ritual dance and challenges both the habits of human perception and the process of cinematic registration. In dancefilm, these performances present problems of visibility/legibility to the filmmaker that are often negotiated through the use of special effects that manipulate the action in space and time such as slow‐motion, multiple‐exposure, repetition, reverse‐motion, and digital postproduction techniques such as image “scratching.” The resulting films enact a dialogue between dance and film, negotiating the most challenging aspects of each discipline to create new forms of choreographic practice that belong solely to the screen arts. This chapter begins with Babette Mangolte's film of Trisha Brown's Watermotor as an exemplary model of cine‐choreography resulting from the filmic registration of challenging dancerly movement. The writings of choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer, along with French dance theorists Hubert Godard and Laurence Louppe, provide a way to think through the special quality of the profilmic material in such films and the types of cinematic movements that result.

Keywords:   Film, choreography, dance, dancefilm, anarchic phrasing, experimental cinema, Babette Mangolte, Trisha Brown, Hubert Godard

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