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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please—no photos: Emanuel Gat Dance at ADF

Posted by on Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:45 PM

When a film studio foregoes all previews of an upcoming release, that usually conveys a certain lack of faith in the finished product. This week, we'll find out what a similar circumstance means in choreographer EMANUEL GAT's case when his company performs during the American Dance Festival at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

The festival scheduled no photo shoot for Gat. There was no need for one, since the company wanted no press photography of any kind taken of his latest work, BRILLIANT CORNERS, which premiered two weeks ago in Vienna.

The company has made its own trailer for the work. For three minutes we watch a cascade of partial body shots while dancers are apparently warming up: socializing, stretching, sitting, doing neck rolls, walking, rehearsing moves, gazing up at the lights.

All of that is followed by 50 seconds of the full ensemble in what appears to be actual dancework. More accurately, it's 15 possibly connected clips of the group, ranging from less than one to 7 seconds, shot from various angles, while a single, ambient passage suggesting chamber music for long strings plays in the background. See for yourself:

It's a decent commercial. It establishes a certain ambience, even generating a sort of suspense, before providing a series of brisk—but fragmentary—glimpses of the ostensible performance itself. And all those camera angles are just there to let us know that more action's going on than any one vantage point could hope to capture.

The quick edits flit from place to place: look here—no, here! To see all the camera sees, we'd have to move as fast as Gat's dancers, or faster. Our point of view is as kinetic as the dance—if not more so...

Yes, the trailer is quite impressive. And with only it to go on, we'll just have to wait and see how it syncs up with the actual experience of the dancework when Emanuel Gat Dance presents BRILLIANT CORNERS, Thursday through Saturday nights, in DPAC.

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