Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image examines the choreographic in cinema - the way choreographic elements inform cinematic operations in dancefilm. It traces the history of the form from some of its earliest manifestations in the silent film era, through the historic avant-garde, musicals and music videos to contemporary experimental short dancefilms. In so doing it also examines some of the most significant collaborations between dancers, choreographers, and filmmakers.
The book also sets out to examine and rethink the parameters of dancefilm and thereby re-conceive the relations between dance and cinema. Dancefilm is understood as a modality that challenges familiar models of cinematic motion through its relation to the body, movement and time, instigating new categories of filmic performance and creating spectatorial experiences that are grounded in the somatic. Drawing on debates in both film theory (in particular ideas of gesture, the close up, and affect) and dance theory (concepts such as radical phrasing, the gestural anacrusis and somatic intelligence) and bringing these two fields into dialogue, the book argues that the combination of dance and film produces cine-choreographic practices that are specific to the dancefilm form. The book thus presents new models of cinematic movement that are both historically informed and thoroughly interdisciplinary.
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Erin Brannigan works in dance and film as a journalist, academic and curator. She was the founding Director of ReelDance International Dance on Screen Festival and has curated dance screen programs and exhibitions for Sydney Festival 2008, Melbourne International Arts Festival 2003 and international dance screen festivals. Erin writes on dance for the Australian arts newspaper, RealTime and lectures in the School of English, Media and Performing Arts at the University of New South Wales.
"This is a book of tremendous reach and range, shuttling easily up and down the decades, moving nimbly between dance history and film theory, and hopping happily back and forth between big mainstream movies and small experimental gems. It's a book be-jeweled with zinging phrases, memorable quotations and big ideas tautly expressed. Best of all, it's an hospitable book with a great cast of characters, wherein film-stars rub shoulders with theorists and the commercial converses with the avant garde." --David Hinton, Film-maker
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