Due to the recentness of the field of dance filmmaking, little research exists on the difference between dance films designed to be watched as films (referred to as screendance) and dance videography (videos of performances created to be viewed by a live audience). This paper contends that what separates screendance from dance videography is the unique appeal screendance has for the viewer. Through the use of instantaneous location changes or inaccessible locations, unusual camera perspectives (such as a birds’ eye shot) that allow the viewer to feel as if they or the dancers are defying gravity, and technology-mediated changes to bodies and surroundings, dance films show the viewer the impossible happening on screen. This impossibility factor enables the viewer to experience the work as a captivating visual spectacle. Rather than looking down on this as ‘low art,’ I suggest that the visual appeal has positive psychological effects on its viewers, which allows screendance to be used to create entertainment (music videos) and sell products (advertisements). This research has implications for dancers, choreographers, and dance filmmakers, particularly those interested in making their work — or dance in general — more accessible to audiences that may not conventionally seek out dance performances.
Reddy, Maya, "How Screendance Embraces What Cannot Be Done on Stage" (2022). Theatre and Dance Honors Projects. 7.
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