Crimson Coast Dance

June 11, 2021: FIRST WORKSHOP, SAMANTHA: IN REAL PRESENCE by Geneviève Johnson

A Spontaneous Dive

Being present, live, with someone
and move in a beautiful outdoor setting
was a real gift!
There were magic moments…

(Samantha Letourneau – video still from her workshop)

We ended up being so much into dancing and creating,
I forgot half of what I structured to do and to record during our session.

Filming was in the way of dancing instead of being part of it…
Half the footage was unusable.
But plenty of ideas came from it.

(Samantha Letourneau – video still from her workshop)

Re-Structuring and Planning

Instead of just one on-going flow interweaving explorations and filmed sequences,
I re-structured the whole workshop in 2 distinct parts:

  • First, an exercise section:
    no filming just exploring
    away from the kimono path, from the camera, from the idea of the film…
    with music and me dancing with participants.
  • Second, a filming section:
    in which I guide participants
    into 4 improvisations with the kimono path
    inspired by their explorations of the first section.

(pages from workshop booklet and storyboard)

In order to edit the final result
into what I have in mind
I decided to film all 4 participants through similar camera work.

That means knowing where the camera needs to be so I can replicate it during the next workshop…

So I went back to the basic:
drawing my storyboard
which includes camera positions, and types of shot.

(I always think I can get away without it
since the choreography is all organized in my head.
But no: having in mind a choreography of the camera is as essential
as the choreography of the dancers…)

(Samantha Letourneau – video still from her workshop)

DIscoveries and Add-ons

Doing so, I realized I wanted to create and add-on
micro dances of the closeup:

  • face/head looking in different directions,
  • hand/arm threading sleeves of kimono,
  • hands holding craft piece,
  • hands stitching…

Using music for the exercises is very inspiring,
but no music during filming

  • just my voice guiding,
  • silences,
  • sounds around…

for the purpose of editing a soundscape …

Words and images are very important to me
so I integrated them in the workshop;
but I totally forgot about them during our first moving session.
I will make sure to add this part in my next session.
I want to  explore more around
participants’ own words and voice.

(Samantha Letourneau – video still from her workshop)

At the end, dancing live together was all that counted:
connecting at a visceral level with someone and the world around.
And for me, nothing is more visceral than dancing together.