visual media for dance
This past semester at Western Kentucky University, I was fortunate enough to be able to take the class Visual Media for Dance. The purpose of the course wasn't editing or directing, but rather the focus was on experimenting and learning innovative ways to understand the concept of what a dance film is. With a background in photojournalism, I have had experience with editing video, but this class was able to reawaken my creative mind which had been dormant for at least a year. I've come out of this class with a respect for the production value behind dance films and a rejuvenated love for both video editing and dance.
For our first assignment, we each made a video with an emphasis on mood. We have to convey a specific feeling with not only our dancing but also the use of camera angles, visual aesthetics, and lighting. I was inspired by the music; I had been listening to it on repeat because no matter how sad I was feeling, one listen through I was already tapping my feet. My personal goal was to use the visual aspects to reflect the feeling of the music to the point where if I put the video on mute, the energy would stay the same. I call this piece, Working Hard, or Hardly Working?
For our second project, we used video and dance to make a film about who we were. I'm not exactly sure how, but my mind just immediately knew what I had to make. When we first went into quarantine lockdown for COVID-19, I was struggling with some mental issues. But, whenever I began to break down, I would visit my happy memories, the reasons I want to keep going. So, I tried to represent that in A Self-portrait and show the viewers that the past never dies; it sculpts you into who you are today.
Another assignment we had was to make the first draft of a dance documentary. Due to the limited time I had on the project and the lack of socializing with and knowing stories of fellow dancers at WKU because of COVID-19, I ended up doing the video on my sister, Kasey Broekema, who is currently graduating from Columbia University of New York City. I focused the story on her letting go of dance as a career but still keeping it as a dear part of her life. While she was indeed in New York City, I still had a lot of archival footage I was able to use of her growing up and finding herself as a dancer, and I used Zoom to conduct the interview with her. While Unexpected presented many challenges, I am still proud of what I was able to pull together for this project.
For one of our last projects, we had to create a live performance utilizing a projection. Going into this concept, I was stumped on what motivation I wanted for this piece until I watched some skaters filming a short film of themselves. The way their bodies sunk into the ground when they fell and the constant awareness of where their balance was brought me to the realization dance and skateboarding share very similar concepts. The more I researched, the deeper the connection became leading down to the sharted motive of a craving for freedom. I decided to take The Right Push as an investigation into a different way of movement than I had played with before.
Final Project
For the final project of this class, we had to return to a previous project and expand upon it. I decided to go back to my self-portrait project; I was very nervous and unsure where to take it. I felt as if the preservation of my 'happy' place needed to stay as it was, but I wanted to add to the concept. Then I realized that was my motivation for the second chapter. The happy place in my mind did happen, but it happened in the past. If I were to return there, I would be depressed because the memories I had there were gone, and would never happen in reality again. So I decided to return to the location on a rainy day to create a more depressed feeling but was treated to quite a surprise. The area I had filmed in before was completely submerged in flooding lake water. After a quick adaptation to what I had originally planned,
hold on. let go. became the piece you see today.