Madeleine Twyman from the Durham School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (DSBCD) and the Blue Institute in Whitby has big ideas that we love translating to the screen.
Here is our favorite dance project yet – an avant garde dance film.
When Covid-19 rocked our artistic world, live dance showcases were put on the back burner and adjudication went online. Madeleine invited Colin to light and film her solo dancers at her studio using his Rage Evo gimbal with his widest lens to submit for competition in the largest dance competition in North America. To give the dances the most cinematic look, Colin travels around the dance floor with the soloist using his judgement on timing and rhythm (and experience filming Madeleine’s choreography) to anticipate where the dancer will go next. The final product gives a more immersive look at a dancer as opposed to the traditional ‘zoomed in tripod shot’ that dance showcases tend to lean on. We hope you agree. Here’s a look at one of the dances from Madeleine’s spring 2021 showcase.
Empty Cup Media has also worked with choreographer Lindsay Daniels at Maxwell Heights for a number of years making video content for her high school dance program. Lindsay had the idea to weave short videos in between dance numbers during live performances. So each year we would think of a handful of short video ideas, and then Colin would visit the school to film candid classes and conduct interviews with students. Some of the videos were short commercials for the program, others about the social benefits or the dance curriculum program offered.
This is a short art video about dance and the impact it has on the students at Maxwell Heights in Oshawa.
In 2021, Colin and Lindsay worked on their first collaborative dance film project together. They started with a song, then listened to it 100 times and broke the song down into chapters. After that they could begin to break up the dance into sections where we could break the linear performance of the dance and just put a ‘cut’ to have the dancers in a new location. It was filmed over 2 evenings when the school was closed and it was made for the 2021 Remembrance Day event the school put on.
Director, Cinematographer, Editor: Colin Burwell