Dynamic Dance Video: Batsheva’s Home Alone
Dance is a life force that lives in all of us. Like our instinct to crawl or speak, and our desire to fly, we are born hardwired to move to music and rhythm, be it internal or external, in a way that is, just is, dance.
Today, with the advent of the web, both concert and random street dance pops up nearly instantly on billions of screens, creating and impacting an audience much larger than the immediate crowd surrounding it. Shows like SYTYCD and Dancing With the Stars have fostered a new breed of armchair dance enthusiasts all over the world. Dance has gained international stature as a marketing and branding tool, selling everything from new tech products to cars and clothing. Films, commercials and music videos now live well beyond their due date. Today, great dance can be dialed up daily on your TV, computer, and smart phone with the flick of a finger.
Screen dance has given dance a permanence, an extended lifespan beyond its ephemeral nature. Like a great piece of architecture, visual art, or a great film, dance now has the power to be a more enduring cultural generator in our day-to-day lives. Dance is bursting from cracks in the sidewalk, infiltrating everyday life, and claiming its place in popular culture. Today the most conceptual, the most intuitive, the most outsider work shares the same plane with the most esteemed, elite and historic concert dance and there’s no need to buy a ticket. International dance shorts, features and docs, music videos, commercials, YouTube uploads, tweets, vine, and more exist on the web as screen dance. More and more film and dance makers across commercial, concert, site specific and other genres are exploring the very unique intersections of dance and the camera. Great screen dance inspires, deserves critical insight, and demands to be shared. If dance is poetry in motion, then screen dance has the power to wordlessly extend beyond socio-political, cultural, and racial barriers to connect us as human beings.
And so I offer up ScreenDance Diaries, a new weekly article with a selection of my favorite dance media.
My pick for this first week is one of my favorites, Home Alone. Shot entirely in an abandoned building, the dynamic movement, seemingly tailored specifically to the site, strives to defy traditional perspective, gravity, and depth of field, and is full of surprises. The dancers and the choreography itself have a raw, urgency and visceral quality that is thrilling. Only a minute and forty four seconds long and apparently a teaser for a live production, it’s a beautiful marriage of dance, camera, and site. Home Alone features Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company. Enjoy!
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Founder/Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied by Nels Cline (Wilco). Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more. She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.