The Future Is Now
Is filmmaker Tarik Abdel-Gawad’s “experiment” the future of dance on camera? He recently made a dance film with San Francisco Ballet principals Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada, using robots to track their movements. I’m obsessed with all things Masha, so even if this film was a flop I still would have watched it. However, not surprisingly, it’s quite beautiful.
This is how Abdel-Gawad did it: he had the dancers perform in motion capture suits and then used the digital version of their performance to plot computerized, pre-programed camera angles to record their live performance. Confused? I was too. Check out this behind-scenes-documentary where Abdel-Gawad and the dancers explain the process and some of the hurdles they encountered.
Does this filming technique give the viewer a feeling of being onstage with the dancers? Kind of. Does it seem like a lot of work to do something that could potentially be accomplished with a hand-held camera? Sorta. Does it indicate a new direction for dance and technology—and does it showcase amazing dancing? Definitely. Check out the final product below.