Saturday, 1 October 2011

On Pictures of Moving: Articles from the International Journal of Screendance

Montage of sequences from Carmen (Carlos Saura, 1983). You can read more about this film (one of FSFF's absolute favourites!) in Marisa Zanotti's article 'When Dance is Imagined In Cinema: Disclosure in Dance Practice'. The article also examines Chantal Akerman’s documentary Un Jour Pina a Demandé (1983), about spending five weeks with Pina Bausch’s company.

Another lucky (unchoreographed) find by Film Studies For Free today. Looking for something else entirely, FSFF pirouetted (tripped) over the following, rather wonderful, online and openly accessible item: the first issue of the International Journal of Screendance. The superb contents of the issue are described in detail and linked to below.

A new issue of IJS is just about due out now, according to the website, so FSFF will let you know about that just as soon as it can.

This first issue of The International Journal of Screendance is dedicated to the proposal that screendance has not yet been invented. This is an appropriation of film theorist Andre Bazin’s suggestion, in The Myth of Total Cinema (1946), that the reality of cinema had not yet embodied the ideal of cinema. Bazin’s writing had been discussed in the first seminar of the International Screendance Network, together with Professor Ian Christie (Birkbeck College, University of London), who had given the 2006 Slade Lectures under the title “Cinema has Not Yet Been Invented.” The proposition that screendance has not yet been invented is intended as an incitement to the community to think about the art form in new ways, both critical and theoretical, and this journal aims to create a forum to sustain the debate.
     A number of themes emerge in this first issue. The presence of Maya Deren is felt in a number of articles, as are ideas about genre, criticality, authorship, disability, performance, and the phenomenology of screendance itself. Chirstinn Whyte looks at amateurism and idea of “professionalism” in “The Evolution of the ‘A’ word: Changing Notions of Professional Practice in Avant-Garde Film and Contemporary Screendance.” Gravity is explored from differing perspectives in two essays: Ann Cooper Albright rethinks the act of falling on screen as an instant in which new meaning can arise while Harmony Bench filters twentieth-century, modern and postmodern, dance techniques’ shared faith in gravity and weight through a digital and electronic lens. Sarah Whatley raises questions about the portrayal of dance and disability on screen, and Argentine critic Susanna Temperley (in Spanish with English translation) addresses the role of the critic in screendance in“Perplexed Writing”, while Kyra Norman explores ideas around the body, perception, and place in site- based screendance. Claudia Kappenberg reviews notions of originality and authorship in “The Logic of the Copy”, and Douglas Rosenberg proposes theories about genre and the diasporic nature of screendance.
     In addition to in-depth discussion and theorization of particular aspects of screen- dance practices, each issue will include interviews and reflective writing by practitioners in the field. In this issue, we publish a transcribed interview with BBC dance for television producer Bob Lockyer. In an effort to reacquaint readers with out of print or hard to find extant articles, we will be including such texts in forthcoming issues, and we begin by re-printing a paper by film theorist and philosopher Noël Carroll entitled “Toward a Definition of Moving Picture-Dance.” The paper was originally presented at the Dance for Camera Symposium in 2000 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In the paper and talk, Carroll, who has been writing about movement on screen since the 1970s, lays out an argument for a definition of the field in order to, as he states, “compare and contrast the various categorizations in play and to develop dialectically from them a comprehensive framework that makes sense of our practices and that resonates with our intuitions about its compass” (2, this issue).

International Journal of Screendance
Vol 1, No 1 (2010): Screendance Has Not Yet Been Invented

Table of Contents
Vol.1, Issue 1 [PDF of Full Issue]

Editorial comment
Toward a Definition of Moving-Picture Dance by Noël Carroll

Artists' Pages
Notes on Contributors

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