Still Learning to be okay with what’s not got by the cameras because that is central to the work: the actualization of limits means much is not included. Everything is not framed. Existence is collectively realized. Accept it, accept it, accept it.

1 Looking Practice Progression:
Attention, Space, Geometry, Frame, Multiple Frames, Sequencing, Adding Frames

Visible Time Vignette:

Body Vocabulary Includes:
-Bodily Sensing of Time Passing
-Sweeping Actions

Score Includes:
-Stillness for One Camera and One Dancer
-Dancer Movement and Camera Movement Match

Camera Movement Vocabulary Includes:
-Sweeping Actions


Personality Vignette:

Body Vocabulary Includes:
-Following aesthetic urges: Planning Ahead

Score Includes:
-Everybody’s Feet in 2 Frames
-Shaky Shaky, FACE
-Cameras Looking at Each Other

Camera Movement Vocabulary Includes:
-Following Aesthetic Urges: Planning Ahead

Run: 4_M_Personality_1
Run: 4_M_Personality_2

“the stakes of negotiation are higher” – Davianna
“playfulness makes an act of cyborging different- I don’t want to cyborg in the same kind of way” -Dian


Progression ( 4_J_1)
5 minute review of camera tools/composition/perspectives (4_J_2)
5 minute run remembering:
“Search for Beauty”, “Personality”, “Relaying Emotion” and “Visible Time” (4_J_3)

Trying New Sequences:

Telling a Story
-How do you tell a story with and without the camera? Do you feel like the subject? What’s the story?

Preserving a Moment
-are you endeavoring to preserve a moment in your vision frame too? or just with the camera? is everyone preserving a moment? What does this bring up for you bodily?

Personality of the camera? or how does the camera contribute to your personality? What does personality DO bodily? What does it do “bodily” to the camera? Is personality being shown only in relationship to the camera, or is it happening in your bodies, between you, in each others’ frames as well? Are you “having a personality”? Are you putting on a personality? In what way is this becoming performative?

Visible Time
How and why do the cameras start to take precedent?

These are all things cameras do, or reasons cameras are used. what happens if we attempt to do these things ourselves, without cameras?

What are the people who are holding cameras doing while they are holding cameras? What does THAT mean?

What kind of moves are you doing?

Should we do many events?

What happens if one or more goes suspiciously dark? What do we do?


warmup, work, watch

cyborg duets
detailed score with specific actions
physicality heightens the moment, heightens the person
rapid transfer of frames
what kind of space do you feel like you’re in, or would you want to be in?

dynamic, investigation, curiosity, searching for things- the camera, looking, seeing, composing, frame, perspective, dancers’ experiences, dancers’ perspectives, always changing, can’t be duplicated, something about change, improvisation makes space for discovery and play, can be focused on the process,

stairs, something that could hide you without you leaving the space, sources of light, shadows, mirrors…


Attention, Space, Geometry, Frame, Multiple Frames, Sequencing, Adding Frames
[I’m thinking about this as adding in tools, as opposed to a progression that happens in sequence, one after another. This builds.]

-clearly ignoring the cameras not for the sake of ignoring them but for the sake of being very interested in a different frame at that moment

-what kinds of camera movements are you using as this happens? when do you think to be creative with the way the camera moves?

-when is the camera an extension of my body and when am I composing for its frame?

a story:
4 people in their own spaces are listening and also sharing space- one person and two cameras look on but are they participating or listening or… what? the sound of the room is like a perpetual outbreath- it goes and goes, like wind it doesn’t take, it just moves on- and maybe this is why it feels this way.

[an aside: taisha paggett’s work asks this too- is based in a sensorial exploration and reaction to seeing and being seen and existing in a particular place and describing those sensations and that architecture through movement, texture, shape, quality…]

[an aside: Re: Atlas and Cunningham: perfectly crafter geometrically for a specific frame/point of view- we are doing this with our framing but not just for one frame, for the frames of everyone in the room. It is improvisaion- Sgorbati- because of the crucial element of consent in being seen as well as describing exactly your sensations in a moment, which will always be changing, listening to how you feel and describing that with movement is a perfect way of listening to/trusting ourselves, and our wants and needs.]


Camera flip moves!
How is stillness showing up in your bodies too?
Use camera composition tools for the camera and for ourselves


Attention, Space, Geometry, Frame, Multiple Frames, Sequence, Adding Frames

play with some camera relationships: camera as subservient, curting your image…

movement explorations: what it feels like to hold/be in front of the camera

“i’m drawn to answer to its gaze” -Yildiz

I’m thinking about communicating with someone else who is not the camera person
Trying to care aoubt posture
Playing with my frame, looking at the actual person
Sense of the camera, even when I don’t see it or face it, my attention is going back and forth

-what feels good/restrictive about working with a partner instead of the whole grou?
-what happened with camera relationships this time? how did it feel to be able to pick it up and set it down?
-how was it to do more moving with the camera?

I see lots of feet this time, lots of kicking
i see fun being had
i see performative bodies composed with intentional weight, space, shape, time, effort
i wasn’t afraid to look at the camera, less tension
trying to avoid the camera and performing for it too
-facing your own truth/how you look

8/23/19 [Poetically Presented Rehearsal Notes]

Looking Practice: Attention, Space, Geometry, Frame
Camera Eyes Practice

What is your relationship to the camera while you’re dancing?

Make a list and embody these relationships:
-What kinds of relationships do we have with the camera?
-What does it feel like to point the camera?
-Your point of view includes your comrades…

4_C_1: Adding to Sequence:
Attention, Space, Geometry, Frame, Multiple Frames, Sequence, Adding Frames

What other things come up?
Does it start to break at some point?
What happens when (if) it does?
Adding cameras would do what?
what does seeing like a camera do?
Frame vs. Focus
Become a stranger to your own body – Yildiz
I felt like a camera- Davianna
Accidental in-camera editing – Yildiz
Staring felt more calm (why?) – Davianna
Hair is not hair, it’s a line – Dian
Touch is a reminder of humanity -Dian
Eye contact takes me out of the frame – Dian
I just wanted it to be my eyes- didn’t want my body to be in it – Laura
I craved something happening in the frame – Laura

What starts to arise?
-frustration in seeking symbiotic relationships
-distance becomes significant
-duration/editing/is there a time constraint?
liberates my body because i’m so focused on vision-disassociation from my body

for self: “i want a picture of myself, i think i look attractive
for world: different social media pictures, just responding to social media connection
people have different importance of the outcome
haphazard selfies
“who do i think i am”
social media curation
posting a selfie is a loaded thing
expose yoursef to critique
expose but also hide yourself
curating yourself
manipulating images
“There is how you want to look, how you think you look, and how you actually look” – Yildiz
branding, marketing, what am I portraying?
emotionally loaded
afraid of becoming or coming off as egotistical, or some other certain thing.
most of what we are worried about is what other people think.
confidence, jealousy, critical, judgemental, wish i was more supportive, men don’t have the same rules.

how do you use the camera?
exhibition, empowerment, doing your bidding

what is the difference between what happens with a still photo and a video?
what kinds of movement vocabularies come up in each of these person to camera relationships?

The camera as:
-subservient to me, doing my bidding, exhibition

-a channel to share my image (curated) to the world
-a tool to pass a quick note
-a tool to show how I see myself
-a tool to show how I want to be seen
-a tool to show how I actually look
-a tool to contribute to my brand
-a tool through which to be misunderstood

male gaze, female gaze, matrixial gaze, queer gaze? multiple gaze? complex gaze? camera gaze? how does a camera see and can we mimic it?

All of these perspectives are correct. What does that mean? It means we must listen to one another. 

similar things happen when we look at each other or think about being seen
we get slow and small
is it hard to do this with other people in the room? how do you really feel?

[When do we start talking about light?]

“algorithm of what you need to do to look the way you want to look, thinking about face as selfies, shifty, ungrounded, uncomfortable” -Laura

“camera as a tool toward empowerment as opposed to showing you as already empowered.” -Yildiz

“what are the standards? why should i use them?” -Davianna

“selfies are head neck and upper chest. my face looks the same, my chest, my posture. I have criteria for myself in a selfie.” -Laura

how does it become your criteria?I’m influenced by culture and society as I build my criteria. Struggling with myself- back and forth.


Regular Practice group rehearsal of The Maya Project work. Contemporary dance improvisation work with cameras. Getting to know the frame so well that we may consider regarding and disregarding the frame of the camera as a compositional tool. Conflating the past, present, and future by using a tool of archive to compose for an ephemeral moment.

Collaborating with Davianna Green, Yildiz Guventurk, Dian Jing, and Laura Patterson.

Seeing and Feeling.

Just begin with an Attention improvisation, active tuning (Lisa Nelson) of the senses and one another

The power of purposefully putting yourself in front of the camera.

“Emergence notices the way small actions and connections create complex systems, patterns that become ecosystems and societies” – adrienne maree brown

We are creating a little cyborg ecosystem. Visual/Kinesthetic.

4_A_1 : On mirroring the visual personal frame, lots of hands in the air describing windows and lines- what does your vision dictating your movements do? What does it mean? Is it hard to look at others’ bodies here? How will you choose a quality? Did you embody? Describe a line? How did you choose body parts? What about locomotion? When did you feel limited? We felt separate somehow to me. What does looking as a guide predict?

4_A_2: On composing based on sensation and impulse- this was more curly- I found texture. What’s it worth to feel vs. see? Is this about believing peoples’ subjective experiences? Listened more. Wasn’t often sure what to do with my sensation but then, sometimes was. What does it mean for it to resonate in the body, and what does that show?

“even when eyes are closed, I’m sensing shapes in the space.” -Dian
“What shapes do our bodies like to go to… the second time i focused on sound. how did it connect to my other senses” -Davianna
“inner voice distraction- because the space is big- it’s harder to focus. my head changing perspective is also a movement.” -Yildiz


Rehearsal 6_3.7.18

It’s Working!

Our process is streamlining. We are beginning with the cameras earlier and with greater dexterity.

The foundation of this work is strong now: our sense of motion, proximity, shape, spatial relationship within the concept of frame is really solidifying. It is becoming quite clear in the video relics of these rehearsals that our aesthetic is taking shape and our choices are becoming purposeful.

This rehearsal we started to work with improvisation rules:

  • when someone touches a wall, the person holding the camera puts it down
  • whenever someone is holding the camera, someone must be actively “duet-ing” with them: whatever that means (this could include proximity, body shape, quality, timing, or any other number of things that could be considered active duet relationship)
  • each individual had a series of camera manipulations to fulfill

We worked with many different rules which was helpful for structure and for heightening the sense of ATTENTION in the room.

There are at least two qualities that are now occurring in the film relics that I am watching of our rehearsals that excite me greatly:

  1. The distinct sense of the space outside of the frame as being alive (viewer recognition of the camera’s backspace)
  2. The prominence of the concept of reveal

The next step is working on an improvisational movement score which even further helps to underscore that which we are trying to do: democratize the space, create a state of heightened awareness, enhance the potential for a viewer’s sense of the space outside of the frame, amplify our listening and purposeful crafting for the frames of the camera(s) and the other people in space.

This week we are off. We meet again on Wednesday, March 31. Our shoot date is Wednesday, April 11.

I dub this project ‘Maya’, hoping for the influences of Mayas Angelou, Deren, and Lin, in honor of poetry, frame, and landscape.

Maya is an investigation of improvisational filmmaking and the demystification of the making of dance films and the camera lens by incorporating the concept of the camera frame into the creative process from the very beginning. We ask questions about the philosophical nature of having the camera in the room. What does it feel like for something you’re doing to be recorded? Can we learn to use the camera frame as only a choreographic tool, demystifying any psychology we personally have attached to it, turning it into a frame, an opportunity, and not a matter of pretend? Can we train to compose within this frame immediately, the same way that we compose immediately through improvisation on a stage? Can we come to know this digital frame so well that it is just another form of space? What is it to bring forth our knowledge (make immediate choices from our embodied histories) through movement in the moment in the interest of the future (the film)? Can we consider all of this time in our bodies at once? What happens if we try?

This concept is becoming. We are developing it each minute and many of these ideas are wrong or bad or won’t work. I’m looking very much forward to the neurons we’ll gain by the failures we’ll experience.

“Indeed- you might ask yourself what it is that makes good improvisation.”
“Eschewing “product-hood” and resisting commodifications, improvisation emphasized presence and change.” (Vida Midgelow)

We calculate distances as if they referred to our own bodies”
“Any tool and its precise manipulation presupposes the space of the body.” (José Gil)

“The direction we take excludes things for us before we even get there.”
“Lines are both created by being followed and followed by being created.” (Sara Ahmed)

“When you see what you want, you’ll recognize it, but it won’t be entirely yours. It will belong to the material you’ve trusted.”
“Try breaking the rules on a ‘need to break the rules’ basis.”
“Nothing is ever wasted.”
“Choose people and trust them implicitly.” (Jonathan Burrows)

Rehearsal 1_ 1.17.18

Cameras are in the space from the start. We bring awareness to them. One only is running.

We name the cameras ‘Aye’ and ‘Bea’.

We four dancers take time to re-discuss the concept, hopes, and goals of this project. We sit in our bodies, breathe and notice ourselves in space. We open our eyes and consider how much room we take up. We walk and consider our relationship to space, our size, the distance between us and the walls, floor, ceiling, other bodies. This develops into a movement improvisation. We reflect on our improvisation, the feel of the camera frame on us: the yucks and the yums of this opening.

We do several more timed improvisations, relating to one another, considering the frame of the camera. We move the cameras to different parts of the space. We reflect on the difference between the feel of one camera and many and what it feels like when they are in different parts of the space.

What happens when we have the agency to move the cameras?

What happens when a camera is moved to focus on what we are doing?

From whence comes the instinct to make the decision to change the camera frame?

How much do you consider what you’re doing and how much do you consider what you are seeing?

Is the camera “downstage?”

What can we do that the camera can’t?

What can the camera do that we can’t?

What can we all do?