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Losing Touch

Photos & Film

Film is an integral part of Charge. The photographs and footage projected in the Strop Duets are pivotal to communicating the idea that memory is a significant theme.  Film is similarly used to powerful effect in the penultimate scene, taking the viewer deep inside a confused mind. The three dimensional depth-effect of linking live action with film draws the viewer in to experience for themselves the disorientating horror of memories imploding.

  • To begin, project a series of photographs; students should ‘people’ them as though they are these characters, imitating the same positions, levels and facial expressions in a stage-freeze.
  • Find a way to enter and leave the photograph that chimes with either the location, characters or mood.
  • Task students to find a short piece of film footage to work with (this could be anything from the final game in a tennis match to an extract from a gangster film or wildlife documentary). Play it with the sound turned down and create a storyboard – a sequence of annotated drawings representing the visuals in each shot.
  • Think about how you might choreograph live action to connect with the activity and images in the film. Look out for moments when you could:
  1. join in with what is happening by doing the same sort of actions to place you at the scene
  2. copy an action or phrase and perform it at exactly the same time as though you are the character
  3. copy the action or phrase but a split second before or after like a deja-vu or echo
  4. react to an event in the film
  5. do something that appears to cause an event to happen in the film
  6. try to make something happen or stop something happening, but fail
  7. summarise what is happening by dancing the mood, theme or atmosphere
  8. ‘Ghost’ a strong image in the film by freezing it in real life
  • Think about other ways of tying live action together with film: could you extend the film set into the space, for example, with leaves or furniture or a breeze; continue a lighting or sound effect or costume your dancers in similar outfits?
  • Now you have a storyboard and an idea of how you might work with your footage, set the performance space, select your performers and try out the ideas to build a series of phrases as an architecture to your dance. Use the shapes, actions, spatial patterns and energy of the film to in-fill around and between each moment and craft phrases and transitions to orchestrate the action/film relationship.
  • Create an arc – a beginning, middle and end to your dance that follows the film storyboard but also adds to it. What starts up first – the film or the live action? How is the link first made? Are the performers conscious of the film? Make sure the scene has a sense of pace and purpose: what is the plot/message?
  • How does it end?
  • What are your best and worst memories?
  • Think about the images, sounds, smells, tastes and textures that come most readily to mind from your childhood and adolescence?
  • Curate a memory bank with an assortment of photographs, pictures and video footage showing family members, friends, holidays, outings, significant events, treasured memories (or create a life for an imaginary person).
  • Record, sample or loop together snippets of sounds that you remember from your (or your imaginary person’s) childhood; favourite songs/ digital books/TV programmes/video games, kitchen chatter, friends laughing, piano practise, dogs barking, traffic, sirens etc…
  • Clip together snippets from your video footage (without sound) and insert the photographs. Add the soundtrack.
  • Use the techniques you learned from the first task to build a dance based on the memories that made you the person you are.

Charge is supported by

Warwick Arts Centre, Rothschild Foundation, Ernest Cook Trust, Tipping Point, Stories of Change

Official energy partner of Charge

First Utility

Motionhouse is supported by

Warwick DC, Lottery Funded, Arts Council England, Vitsoe, John Ellerman Foundation