I am a Documentary Filmmaker and Choreographer. My work incorporates screen dance, cinema verite, interviews and spoken word to create hybrid documentary projects. My current project, Muscle Memory will consist of dance video, interviews and archival footage and photographs specifically focusing on middle-aged dancers who once danced together in college. I am exploring the relationship of choreography and dance video and how that can be used to enhance the stories and experiences my subjects reveal.
My methods rely on the collaboration, cooperation and interpretation of the dancers involved. I set up structures and the material that is developed informs my film direction, camera movement, composition and setting. The dancers interpret the movements, set the pace and emphasize moments. I decide where they will perform, who they will perform with, how often they will do the phrases, how fast and how slow.
I give no other directions regarding tone, emotion or style. In this way the dancers allow the movements themselves to influence how they make them feel. The dancers create the narratives that help them remember the movements and give them a reason to do them. The dancers show me what they have created and that in turn generates new ideas and new narratives for me.
The camera is part of the choreography and films the dancers from many different angles and shot sizes. The camera person, myself, often becomes part of the dance, moving with and around the dancers.