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Eyeing Dance

Eylül Akıncı

Christopher Walken’s swing solo in Spike Jonze video Weapon of Choice is so playful and animated –as much as the music is- that it tags the camera behind him, rather than trying to squeeze into its frame. The visual richness of the environment (which is the halls and lobbies of a big and prestigious looking hotel) with hazy and pastel colors is quite fitting to the genre contextually. There is a cinematic quality resulting from the different plans and scenes, as well as the use of invisible ropes to “magically” fly Walken in the air. Although the music is not conventional swing, it provides the proper rhythm for dance, and in turn swing dance is successful to show the song’s funkiness.

By her solo in Water Motor filmed by Babette Mangolte, one can feel that Trisha Brown is creating colors and movement in the monochrome video which is shot in single plan and angle. Camera follows her movements in linear direction in right-left axle. The picture does not have much contrast and sharpness, and it is in tones of grey. Trisha Brown’s movements, especially in the second slow motion part, creates relieves on the plain background and floor. Her choreography is very dynamic with frequent jumps and turns, and it is even more pronounced with the visible waves of her hair and clothes during the second half. The camera seems to move very slightly, yet thanks to double framing it discloses the multiplicity of movements, thus contributing to the motion in a very subtle way.

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