50 filmmakers, 23 countries, 1 dance (video)

Choreographer and filmmaker Mitchell Rose put together a really neat video that I think you’ll like.

I asked Mitchell to explain for us what the video is about:

I’m a professor of dance filmmaking at Ohio State University. I’ve made 25 films that have won 66 festival awards, and the last few films I’ve made I’ve been experimenting with what I call “hyper-matchcutting” where every edit perfectly aligns in position and continuity.

The dance was choreographed and then broken down count by count. I found the filmmakers around the world through social media and posting in dance-film newsletters. Each filmmaker was assigned a 4 count phrase.

They would look through a manual for instructions on how to find people in the street, how to position them in the frame, what kind of backgrounds to be in front of, etc.

Here’s the manual.


A quick clip from Mitchell’s video.

The frame was divided into 9 marks, and each count was assigned a position. So if you were assigned measure 4, counts 2, 3,4, 5, your chart would show you that for those 4 counts the performer should be at position 5, 6, 6, 6.

And then everybody sent the footage back to me.

The whole thing took 15 months of working every day. (Oy.) For three lousy minutes!

I thought he just taught everyone to do the whole dance. I kind of love the idea of each person learning just two seconds of dance and filming it just right. Then Mitchell puts it all together, so that the only time there’s an actual complete dance is after Mitchell does his magic.

Mitchell had a bit more:

I wanted to use non-dancers so it would have an everyman feel. My thought was, You can get anybody to do sophisticated choreography if you really limit it to just two seconds — only two seconds — and then really spend the time to work with them to polish it.

It’s a neat idea and well done. Thought you might enjoy it.

PS Below the video is a list, shot-by-shot, of the various locations around the world.

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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