Thursday, February 19, 2009


A friend recently asked me if this is a blog or a website. I guess the answer is a little of both. It actually evolved from a newsletter I used to mail out a couple of times a year, reporting on where I'd been, and trying to make sense of where I was headed.

The tone of this electronic version is similarly somewhere between self-promotion and artistic travelogue. In this format, I now have the option to immediately post moving images of old and new dances - and the chance to converse a bit with you, Dear Reader, in something closer to real time.

However, though a blog theoretically allows for comments, responses have been few and far between.  So, with a recent work-in-progress videodance, I emailed sketches to a few friends for direct feedback.  Their comments helped me understand better what was working. Responding to their input, I re-arranged the 3 sections. The revised version is visible below -  and on YouTube where you can see it in a larger format. 

If you want to form your own opinion before reading the comments of others, scroll down now. And please add your two bits in the comments section after you watch - because it's still in progress - by writing in the Leave a comment box, and then clicking on Publish Your Comment below it.  
Did I say holla back, y'all?

Beautiful and so sad. The banging your head against the wall feeling of Part II makes my heart feel all knotted up. And I love the flash of red through the trees of part III that becomes the dancer and her repetitive torso twists in the snow.  And I love the way all three are shot through the trees - and the scraping sounds of the ice skates and the feet and hands against the ice and the running in the snow - and the distant sounds.  My only suggestion is that you don't show us the skater's face.  I like that the other women are not known to us even though we are seeing these really intimate, raw moments.

Like it...very poetic...kind of eerie, is it meant to be?
I can't give you a great reason, but I feel as though I'd like to see the skating sequence last - probably with music - and otherwise keep the sequence the same (putting 'red elf' in the middle). Wish I could be more articulate about why...maybe just that the end of that segment is a pretty ending? And I vote for no music on the elf, but you probably expected that...

It's really good, ma.  Here are my thoughts.  As always, take what you will.
1. I'd love our skater to stumble once more before she falls.  Maybe the shot where she loses her footing?
2. I would maybe start the second section with the wood stick footage.  Just to ease us into destruction.
3. I love the second and third sections.  The first [skater] doesn't hold up in my opinion. The other two are so wonderfully violent and animalistic.  The deer and the skating seem so beautiful in comparison.  This may be the idea - I don't know if there needs to be more violence with the beauty.
I really love the shots thru the branches, water drops, geez. Love the intercuts with the playful deer.  I find myself not knowing whether to laugh or worry when she falls, and I am especially alarmed during the clawing, scraping sequence (is that a new shot of her head in close-up? I like it).  Love the slow white-outs and the close-up red.  Still not sure about the red elf movement, except now this part reads as definitely serious except for the pom-poms.  Is this an intentional mixed message?  

You have always had a knack for finding curious environmental/incidental sound and making it an essential element, but WOW - you've added yet another fantastic layer to your dance.  My only complaint is that they are such wonderful meditations on place, season, color, sound, movement -  my curiosity is piqued, the mood is invoked, the characters introduced, a new world is unfolding - and I just want more. I want the back story - which is never really your intention and has more to do with me being new to the whole "dance film" experience than anything else. What a perfect thing to watch in February, when I need to be reminded why I love winter.
This is so wonderfully good.  Is this your editing?  It's gorgeous, sharp, light on its feet. Sweet and heartbreaking and vaguely familiar in the first piece.  Memory, human and animal.  The textures in the opening of the second piece - abstract at its best.  The image disturbing but set off by that beauty. The third is full of life, humor, success.  The deer dances juxtaposed.  How cool is that!

I like that the piece changes from recording to location sound. Love the voyeuristic POV in camera work and that you have added deer to your ever-morphing company.  And skating as dance! The red coat and the freak out in the snow all very powerful. What a poem.  Might be my favorite!


Alberto said...

For a four minute work, as presented here, while the skating was certainly interesting, given it's richness I was surprised at it's relatively brief exposure and inclusion in the film as a whole. I guess it felt like a brand new idea, and I'm not sure what it was for in context of the deep material presented before it. Not sure how I felt about the deer either. ;-) The person in the snow and the sound of the damp weather was brooding and drew me in, particularly the action of the scrapping against the snow. I loved not ever really being able to see the dancer's face, but the ragged hair in the snow and cold rain was intense. This seems to be an interesting idea with regards to a bigger picture. I'm certainly curious to see more. Thank you Marta for making such provocative and intriguing dance on camera.

Melissa said...

The short moment of the fall and the deer playing were beautiful - that is chance grabbed Marta!
I love the peek-a-boo sense of the beginning, and could have watched the red coated dancer appear and take form even more.
My brain jury is still out on Red Coat in the snow and off the ice. but loved Sweater Hair In Her Face in the snow.
Hope those thoughts are helpful!

DJW said...

I like how it seems like the evoluton of movement: sorta wildness through to civilization: "Look, she can skate!" And deer dancing in between as if, "What's so hard about movement?"

Kate Meth said...

It's gorgeous !!! Don't change a thing.

Deirdre said...

POV is wonderful. The music is perfect. The branches become a major character in the piece. Seeing only the flash of color first is very effective. The timing of the fadeouts is great.

Just some wishes...I wish the color bearer did more upon sighting after the first 2 or 3 times. Thought the deer could come in earlier or... if the sighting of the deer could in with the skater falling down.

anuse said...

I love the trilogy/triptych format. They are like three haikus about the same patch of winter. Also three different feelings associated with winter: playful, stuck and frustrated, gliding and fancy free. I agree with other commentors that the framing through the branches is a really nice common thread. I like seeing the skater glide off at the end too.

lifedance said...

Inspired and inspiring. Just as I am sitting here on March 2nd in the Catskills, lamenting yet another snowstorm - and it's snowing in the city, too! - and thinking I just can't bear it another minute, then here comes this ode to ice and snow and the white noise of the soul turned into music - ah, lovely. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The beginning of the film is very beautiful like a moving painting. The setting is serene and meditative for a while. Then it changes in a place where life/history happens and happened.I agree with Alberto, this section of the film does more for me than the 2nd part (the skater). I really enjoyed the music integration in the first part of the film and I like the music a lot.
Oh Winter,
Thank you Marta for making dances in nature

Gabri said...

Just got to watch it again and not sure if i commented already. I like the feel of it and the POV. Wish it would have stayed with the skater and the deer. Not sure what the connection to the beginning was. But then again, if it is just a poem, it could work well. Thanks for letting me comment.