Dance-A-Lorus Fuses Film and Choreography

Nov 9, 2011

As Cucalorus begins in Wilmington, another annual tradition, Dance-A-Lorus takes place Thursday night at Thalian Hall.

WHQR's Sara Wood reports the event features eight collaborative works between dance choreographers and filmmakers.

For the past six years, The Dance Cooperative has produced the festival in conjunction with Cucalorus. Choreographer Kate Muhlstein says it's an exploration of the two forms of art working in tandem.

 “And it's been an ever-growing process for the past few years trying to figure out that blend of film and dance together in a way where the audience doesn't have to pick and choose where to go with their eyes but that they are fed the information and how to understand the work itself.”

Muhlstein says some works are not necessarily collaborations but filmmakers exploring choreography or dancers exploring filmmaking on their own. She says this year the festival opens up to a wider geographical collaboration, featuring performers from Philadelphia and Greensboro.

Muhlstein worked with New Orleans filmmaker Barrett DeLong to explore audience fascination with celebrity and pop stars in their work, “Some Assembly Required.”

“We used the idea of robotic movement, and so that was definitely was a challenge for me to kind of stay more grounded and limited in the range of motion. You just have to have, based on the idea you come up with your filmmaker, find a certain movement language that appeals to and enhances the general concept that's trying to be portrayed.”

The film incorporates stop-motion capture, a technique in which small, painstaking adjustments are made to an object, each movement shot one-by-one.

The pair's collaboration took place almost entirely long-distance, with both artists emailing videos of their work back and forth prior to rehearsals.