New media's impact on performing arts

19 September 2011

New media's impact on performing artsDance and YouTube: Keynote speaker Deirdre Towers, artistic director of the New York based Dance Films Association, explored the history of dance for the camera.

UCT's Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) kicked off its programme of screenings, panel discussions and talks titled Film & Dance: Innovative Art on the Rise in August, with some style.

To get discussion going, it launched the event with the premiere of Pina 3D, a spectacular doccie-style dance film about the life and work of the late German modern dancer, choreographer, teacher and director, Pina Bausch. The film is directed by renowned German filmmaker Wim Wenders, and features Pina's Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch dance company in a visually stunning journey of dance; all in 3D, of course.

The rest of the weekend was something of a dance and film aficionado's heaven, with screenings of local and international filmmakers' work, panel discussions and lectures.

In her keynote address, artistic director of the New York-based Dance Films Association Deirdre Towers took the audience on a trip through the first 100 years of dance for the camera - from household names like Ginger Rogers and Michael Jackson, to West Side Story and the beginnings of Bollywood - and then on to the radical experiments of contemporary film and dance makers.

It elicited questions of artistic integrity in these techno-rich times.

"It takes 10 years to make a dancer and it could take 10 years to perfect your art, but it could take two minutes to hit a button to record and another to share on YouTube," said Towers. "The opportunity here, to write in images, is endless."

For GIPCA, this event furthers their commitment to an interdisciplinary approach.

"This is a way to put our feelers out and see what the prominent movements out there are, and bring them into this space," said GIPCA director Jay Pather. "It produces material for further postgraduate work, and brings innovative and state-of-the-art methodology into sharp focus to inform curriculum design."

Based on the successful reception of this year's events, next year's Film & Dance will be more extensive, Pather promised.

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Monday Monthly

Volume 30 Edition 14

19 Sep 2011

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