an Improv on Improv

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The most recent LA Dance Moves project is to Peter Kater and Tina Guo’s “Within Silence”.  It’s such an incredibly beautiful and even spiritual body of music, and it brought me such peace. I was compelled to create a visual to match it’s beauty.  In the musicians’ music video, the two sat together and improved live with the camera rolling. How amazing!  And I thought…”Hmm, seems like a perfect opportunity for our improv skills.

I shared my vision with the camera director of using curtains and angelic lighting. He brilliantly came up with the idea of shooting into mirrors behind them. The 3 curtains are now 5….magical!  It’s all coming together.

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The morning of filming, 2 dancers could not perform. One was my principal and I had built a theme around his abilities.  I stressed out as first…then I remembered laughing to myself as the 5 dancers were warming up and thought ” Well if  I’m asking my dancers to only improv, than I have to do the same thing !”… and came up with a new plan.  And, as I was watching the dancers playing with curtains as they were warming up, it was so clear that all was meant to be:  5 Curtains, 5 dancers.

Take a breath.   It’s Time to Film!

Following a simple shot list with a clear idea of how I wanted this to flow, we began.  We filmed different sections of the music with different staging prompts given prior to each take.  Directing was difficult for me as I had to “hide” behind the black curtains that covered the entire studio, so I would not get caught in the camera reflecting off the mirror. The cameraman had to  “hide” by being directly in front of a curtain to not catch himself in the mirrors.

So I couldn’t direct, and could see only glimpses of the dancers of the dancers in action.

The camera work was amazing.

And, the dancers were brilliant.

And so we have “Project Improv-Within Silence”

Within Silence – Project Improv

~ Nancy Paradis



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