Manchester International Festival: Download and Run Zoom

When travel restrictions forced Lucinda Childs to postpone a project with the Ballet National de Marseille, the American choreographer began meeting the Ballet’s Artistic Directors – LA(HORDE) – via Zoom.

Manchester International Festival: Download and Run Zoom

This short, which is part of the Postcards from Now series in partnership with MIF, documents the chronicles of digital collaboration amongst dancers. Starting in the first lockdown, we watch LA HORDE and Lucinda Childs’ detailed talks of wanting to create using the best technology we have in the current season – Zoom. The pair understand that as creatives, this is a time of rest but also a time to challenge your skills to fit a new frame. 

However, I found this short a difficult one to get through, as its contemporary/ballet nature and documentary style was less engaging and witnessing the same moves over and over – with no explanation of what the choreography meant, or was supposed to signify – made for tedious viewing.

The film is described as “Intimate, playful and relatable”. For dancers, I’m sure they will watch and have a great appreciation for the production, but for the average consumer, it felt alien. This film was surrounded by one main piece that we didn’t get to fully see and snippets of Zoom performances that were, in all honesty, strange. 

For example, dancing with a piece of fruit or one performer having a close embrace with a shirt. Again, I’m sure from a dancer’s perspective this will make sense but both the act and my presence felt misplaced. 

Its second aim was driven by the exploration of how the distances enforced by the pandemic raise unexpected possibilities for creative interaction.

That was achieved but there just needed to be more context. More dialogue from the dancers and explanations behind their pandemic pieces were needed to help join the narrative, so the audience regardless of their creative background can understand. 

Header Image Credit: Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Author

De-Mornae Clarke

De-Mornae Clarke Kickstart Team

De-mornae is a Kickstart Journalist for Voice. Music, interviews and pop culture are her preferred topics of interest but is often pushing her own creative boundaries to prove that anyone can have an opinion regardless of their background, education or class.

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