Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Virtual Buggy

This week we were given the chance to create the project we planned out in last week’s blog.  I chose to create a “virtual buggy,” or a webpage to hold all of my work done in my dance Comp 1 class.  This way, I can refer to it whenever I need, and it will be much easier to remember everything I make.  Luckily, I didn’t run into any troubles this week with my computer or my camera.

Looking back on how I managed my time, I am extremely satisfied with how I carried out my "work week."  I found plenty of time Tuesday evening to film my work, leaving myself even more time to piece together my webpage Wednesday and Thursday.  After pondering what would be more efficient, I chose to create a subpage under DMA on my Google portfolio.  This way it is also conveniently connected to my profile and other work as well.

Not only will this page allow me to keep all my Comp work in one place, but it will give me somewhere to post other dances as well.  In fact, I hope to upload some videos of the variations we have learned in my BL5 Variations class soon.  (I just have to find the music first.)  But apart from variations or movements, this page will give me somewhat of a professional advantage/benefit as well.  Keeping in mind the fact that auditions are a key part of a dancers' career, having a webpage of all my work would also be a great place to upload audition videos.  In a small way, it would be like "getting myself out there."  Like my teachers say in class, you never know who might be watching you.

I enjoyed being able to gather all of my work into one place, and I hope y’all enjoy what I created as well!

(Here's my website, and below is an example of some of my work that I loaded onto the webpage.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Personalizing New Media

Week 3:

With new media, artists in any practice can easily share their creations. Specifically for dancers, YouTube or even Facebook can be huge factors in "getting yourself out there." Online audition videos, audition photos, even short bios with some information on your dance experience can get you noticed or help you get a job. In fact, I have been told that having a dance photo as your profile picture on Facebook could land you a chance at an audition. Facebook is also incredibly convenient for making connections in the dance world.  YouTube and other video sites can also help further a dancers career just because it serves as a place to find recordings of former dancers. Even just watching these videos or watching how people train or the details they put into performances can help a dancer improve.

As for my e-portfolio, I had fun playing around with the colors and fonts as well as the layout and overall look of my website.  Luckily, the only issue I ran into was indecisiveness.  I had a hard time choosing which font I liked best.  There were so many to choose from.  However, I had no trouble choosing a theme.  I personally have a love for the outdoors, specifically flowers, so I knew the cherry blossom theme was for me.  (No, flowers aren’t exactly the quote-unquote “most professional” theme I could have chosen, but I think that I needed to show my personality as well as my professionalism.  Therefore, I chose to portray myself through the flowers.)

My blog, however, was a bit of a challenge.  No matter how I searched for the William Kentridge video I wanted, I could not find it.  Nor could I find the embed code for the video so I could paste it into my blog.  So I simply chose to revise that post and took the video off completely since it was merely extraneous information.  Other than that, I really liked the overall look of my blog (colors, layout, theme, compositions, etc) so I left that untouched.

Week 4: 

One of the most important and most vital processes of a dancers career is the audition process.  For this, dancers need to have the knowledge of how to make a clean, professional grade audition video.  It is for this reason that I would most like to learn more about how to make one.  

Another important aspect of being a dancer is knowing how you move and knowing what types of movement you feel most comfortable with.  Keeping this in mind, I will be creating either a website or a new page on my portfolio in which I compile video segments of new movements we create each week in my Comp class.  This “movement portfolio” will allow me to keep track of everything I create so that I can refer back to them literally with a simple click of a button.  It will also give me a place to upload fully choreographed dances, etc, as time goes along.  I could even upload variations from my BL5 Variations class, allowing me easy access to them for auditions, etc.  Timing this project will depend heavily on my rehearsal schedule but I plan on trying to film what movements I currently have on Monday or after my later rehearsals Tuesday.  This way I can have the rest of the week to create my website/portfolio page and fix any minor details that might need work.  Other than my indecisiveness, I don’t plan on running into many problems, but if I do encounter any, it will most likely be finding decent studio space to film.  I already know that I need to be neatly dressed and presentable in my videos, as well as clean and clear with my dancing so that the choreography shows up well on the recording.  I hope to learn more on how to piece these videos into a website/portfolio page as well as more on what angles or lighting helps “show off” my movements the best.  Next week will be an interesting feat but I’m positive it will turn out well in the end!  Wish me luck!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Art of Altogetherness

In the words of Christo, the work of art is not each piece involved, or the process by which it is created, but “the work of art is altogetherness.”  He really embraces the idea of art being a product of the whole. It is not one piece, or color, or stroke that makes a piece of art; it is the combination of all these elements. It is a piece of art in it's entirety that is beautiful (thank you Alex Anna for wording it this way).  In 1973, Christo and Jean-Claude conjured up the idea to build a fence that would travel across the landscape for over 24 miles.  Made out of plain while panels that moved with the wind, “The Running Fence” outlined the invisible contours of the landscape.  It's incredible how breathtakingly beautiful something as simple as a white fence can be. It really did move and breathe with the contours of the land as if it was alive: “born along a hillside, breathing [with] the land, and dying without a trace” (thank you again Alex).  Another amazing portrayal of altogetherness was the In B Flat website.  Yes, each piece was interesting and pretty in its own way, but as videos were combined, and the pieces began to fit together, the music/creation as a whole was incredibly beautiful.  I was extremely impressed.  Enough to say that out of all the artworks we have looked at so far, this one has been my favorite.  Overall, this discussion of combining old and new media has led me to realize how connected old and new media are and will be.  It's very true that we make new media because of old media. This even ties back into what we've talked about in previous weeks about how almost all media is "recycled." We might "borrow" or take inspiration from some form of old media and turn it into new media, but once that new media becomes old, we might take something from it and make it new again: creating a cycle that never ends.

This week, I actually created what I planned out in last weeks blog.  I wanted to somehow portray the theme of boundary dissolution by combining my own traditional media (dance, specifically ballet) with some form of new media.  So from here I decided that I wanted to try dissolving the boundary between visual art (painting) and dance.  In simpler terms, I was the paintbrush and my movements were the brushstrokes.  I chose to use blue paint to represent ballet and yellow paint to represent contemporary so that there was a more visible distinction between the two genres of dance.  From here, I went on to film some simple steps (mostly just playing with the paint that was dripping from my toes) in black and white.  However, I was able to use a feature on my camera that allowed me to retain one color in the picture (first blue, and then later, yellow).  This way, the viewer only sees the color and picture being created altogether rather than focusing on the movement.

In the end, I achieved what I wanted to.  The colors mixed together to form green, depicting the dissolution of the boundary between ballet and contemporary (hence the black and white + green picture at the end of the video).  I’m very happy with how it turned out and luckily didn’t have any major technical difficulties this time.  I hope you enjoy!!