Nov. 03, 2010 - Issue #785 : 4th Graders
Frame by frame
Studies in Motion blends artistic disciplines
That's not to say Collier lacks directoral panache; quite the opposite, as proven on Monday night when she received the Siminovitch prize—which comes with a $100 000 purse, $25 000 of which must be given to a "protégé" of her choosing—for her innovation as artistic producer of Vancouver's Electric Company.
That's quite the steady hand to have guiding Studies in Motion, the story of the man responsible for instantaneous photography, and his more-than-slight obsessions with documenting the movements of the body. A fairly linear, literal staging wasn't in the cards for Kevin Kerr's script; it just didn't seem ideal for capturing Muybridge's obsessions, or the photographs themselves, which had been Kerr's original inspiration.
"The question was, how do you make something look like a frozen moment in time?" Collier explains. Collaboration was the solution; after bringing aboard Robert Gardiner, who was "interested in pioneering using video projections but as a lighting source for the stage," Collier brought composer Patrick Pennefather and choreographer Crystal Pite onboard the creative process, to figure out how the staging of Muybridge's photos and story could be more than just dialogue and blocking.
"So, what is the shape of the light, how fast does it pulse, what direction does it come from, is it a point-five second, is it a three second, what kind of body movement coming into it will feel like it creates the image?" Collier continues. "All those things where you just try, trial and error, with a bunch of stuff in a room, a bunch of gear and programming, and pick away at it. So, [it was] experimentation, really, until we found a language that we thought worked really well, and then we were able to move forward with continuing to build a production incorporating that language, and finding moments for that to happen."
The end result folds dance and film into theatre, pushing all three into some uncharted onstage territory, to capture not only a unique story, but a pivotal moment in our culture.
"I think what Kevin has articulated, and our works in the show have articulated, that this is a point in time when instantaneous photography happened, when people were able to look at an image and see something they hadn't before," Collier explains. "They weren't posing for the camera and sitting while it documented; you could actually see life captured in a moment in time. And since this time, we've progressed to be a culture that is completely saturated with media and image at all levels. So it's not that we know what exactly that has meant to us, but we do know that our fascination with them and obsession with media is probably changed us greatly, in our view to ourselves and our view to the world." V
Thu, Nov 4 – Sun, Nov 14 (7:30 pm)
Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge
Written by Kevin Kerr
Directed by Kim Collier
Citadel Theatre (9828 - 101 A AVE), $37 – $57
More info about Citadel Rice Theatre →
Possibly related storiesvueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
Vue respects your privacy. We will not forward your personal information to any other organization except as required by law, and will use your e-mail address only to respond to your comments. We reserve the right to edit and remove comments for length, clarity and/or if they are illegal or inappropriate. Your email address is never shown to visitors to vueweekly.com. Read the whole policy at: http://vueweekly.com/privacy