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Dance Music

A Trio of Dancers Brave Icelandic Temperatures in a Stunning New Music Video for Pianist Hania Rani

April 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

Set against a snow-sprinkled mountain range in Iceland, composer and pianist Hania Rani plays meditative sostenutos on a lone piano in an enthralling new project. Directed by Paris-based filmmaker Neels Castillon, F Major begins with Rani and a figure in the distance before turning its focus to three dancers shot in succession. Their bodies swell and dip across the wind-blown landscape, similar to the musical dynamics.

In a note on the piece, Castillion said Rani’s prolonged runs, the dancers’ hypnotic moves, and the serene landscape proved an unparalleled combination.

Listening to Hania’s music over and over, I began to dream of a single sequence shot that would follow her music floating in the wind of an unreal Icelandic landscape. I asked each dancer to give a personal interpretation of Hania’s song. We were very lucky to succeed in this insane artistic performance despite the great cold (minus 7 Celsius). It was such a moment of truth.

“F Major” is part of Rani’s anticipated album Home, which is scheduled for release in May. More work from the pianist, who splits her time between Warsaw and Berlin, can be found on Instagram and Spotify. To keep up with Castillion’s dreamy pieces, check out his Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Animation Dance Design Illustration

Innovative Augmented Reality Book Merges Dance, Theater, Literature, and Technology

November 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, who work together as the Adrien M / Claire B Company (previously), explore the intersection of tangible and augmented reality in their multi-media projects. They recently launched a Kickstarter to support their latest project, Acqua Alta – Crossing the mirror. Acqua Alta turns a seemingly simple pop-up book into an animated black-and-white world. Two figures move through the pages, battling rainstorms and walking through doorways, all seen through the portal of a tablet or smartphone.

The duo tells Colossal that after their 2017 exhibition Mirages & miracles, they wanted to focus their efforts on an affordable medium at an intimate scale that still allowed for constructing volume. “After considering the AR algorithm, it was important to find a solution for the book to be a plane for each of the 10 double pages,” Mondot and Bardainne explain. “The magic happens only when the real space and the AR space are completely synced together.”

The duo was also working with a limited budget and limited professional experience with motion capture. In contrast to more specialized production companies with greater resources and established, Mondot and Bardainne were challenged by looking for smart and creative solutions to achieve the same results.

“It was very exciting to be at the border between many disciplines—theater, dance, but also comic books and animation,” Mondot and Bardainne share. “We are questioning the language: what does this medium allow us to express? Can we use part of the cinematographic language? Can we use some of the symbolic tools of the theater?”

You can support Acqua Alta on Kickstarter, where the book is available for preorder (it also comes with a free app for experiencing the AR). Explore more of Mondot and Bardainne’s interdisciplinary work on their website.

 

 

 



Animation Dance Music

The Line Between Reality and Animation Blurs in a Motion Capture Music Video for Ed Sheeran

June 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Pop singer Ed Sheeran flaunts his star power in an incredibly complex music video that combines motion capture, computer generated extras, and a guest appearance by Chance the Rapper to boot. The colorful video for “Cross Me” starts off with a professional dancer, Courtney Scarr, in a motion capture suit. Scarr becomes the sole real-life character in the video revisited throughout the song. Teeming animations of human figures, light effects, and a shower of sprinkles fill a dance hall, outdoor track, baseball field, and video game. Sheeran and Chance both appear as animated versions of themselves, navigating these computer-generated worlds and thoroughly blurring the line between real and imagined.

“Cross Me” was directed by Ryan Staake (previously), and also brings to mind this music video for The Chemical Brothers, directed by DOM&NIC. You can view the comprehensive list of collaborators on the project on the official video’s Vimeo page.

 

 



Dance

Neon-Clad Ballet Dancers Take the Streets of Hong Kong by Storm in Celebration of Their 40th Year

May 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In a new brand video from the Hong Kong Ballet, swarms of brightly dressed ballet dancers demonstrate traditional techniques in a contemporary urban environment. The 40-year-old dance company underwent a dramatic rebrand in 2018 courtesy of Washington, D.C. based-agency Design Army, and the recent video builds on their new identity. Sporting a mix of classic tutus alongside contemporary athleticwear, the dancers pas de deux across basketball courts and stroll en pointe through crosswalks to the remixed tune of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. Find more moments of dancers in motion on the Hong Kong Ballet’s Youtube channel and take a peek behind the stage curtain on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 

 



Art Dance Photography

Life-Size Origami Becomes a Fashion Statement in Dramatic Paper Costumes Worn by Ballet Dancers

October 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Melika Dez

Montreal-based artists Melika Dez and Pauline Loctin met in January 2018 and decide to combine their imaginations in a creative collaboration. The result, PLI.Ē Project, fuses Dez’s skills as a movement photographer with Loctin’s expertise in paper art, and showcases dancers around the world wearing hand-folded paper costumes. Loctin specifically formed each dress’s shape and color palette to the dancer who would be modeling it, and Dez worked to situate her models in iconic settings from the streets of New York City to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Loctin’s paper creations range from resembling traditional ballet tutus to intricately folded experimental shapes.

Dez shares that the project came together in two phases: first as a studio shoot with professional ballet dancers wearing Loctin’s creations, and later as a worldwide endeavor photographing dancers and costumes outside. “Paper can be a fragile material to work with and that is exactly why we decided to make the impossible, possible. No matter which element we would be confronted to, water (rain), wind, we wanted to show that we are limitless.”

The PLI.Ē Project photographs are on view in Montreal through November 4, 2018, and the duo hopes to shoot a second series of the work and eventually publish a photo book. You can see more from Loctin on Instagram and Facebook and from Dez on Instagram. (via fubiz)

 

 



Art Dance

Wild Balloon Creatures Overtake the Streets of New York in Jason Hackenwerth's Animal Soul

July 17, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photos by Jason Hackenwerth except as noted

In Animal Soul, a fleeting exhibition at Brookfield Place in New York City, artist Jason Hackenwerth (previously) brought to life a menagerie of inflatable creatures. Born from his wild imagination, the interactive inflatable artworks included wearable “Megamite” costumes sported by professional dancers, and towering fabric creatures that soared above the crowds. You can see more from Hackenwerth on Instagram.

Photo: Charles Lenoir

Photo: Charles Lenoir

The Diety. #Woooohooo @bfpl_ny #gitit @klkitchen

A post shared by Jason Hackenwerth (@hackenwerth) on