The Nightingale welcomes Jeremy Moss and Pamela Vail to present a 60-minute program of video, 16mm projection, and live performance that highlights transfigurative gestures via the collision of camera and dance. This program explores the roles and functions of both the cinematographer (Jeremy Moss) and the dancer (Pamela Vail) while engaging questions of space, movement, and the ways in which the frame and the cut create alternate walls and rhythms. The progression of this camera/dance collaboration has led the artists to pointedly examine equality, balance, interactivity, and reciprocity between both forms.
Jeremy Moss and Pamela Vail have been actively collaborating since the fall of 2008 and their collective films and videos have shown at prominent national and international festivals including Experiments in Cinema, Crossroads in San Francisco, Cucalorus, Next Dance Cinema, Cinedans in Amsterdam, Arkipel in Jakarta, and at renowned North American venues such as the Northwest Film Forum, San Francisco Cinematheque, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and Echo Park Film Center.
Their non-narrative visual explorations investigate and present the singular moving body via structural camera and rhythmic editing. Both durational and intense, phrasing of movement and cutting range from assaulting and severe to meditative and lulling. Through this program, the artists ask: how do/can camera and movement inform the other, and offer new possibilities without favoring one over the other? Can the camera act as a dynamic partner, more than simply a new “stage” or documenting device for the dancer? Can the dancer be more than a subject embedded within the frame and altered by the cut? What is the role of location when considering the duet between dancer and camera? How can the dance film continue the early investigations of camera and movement radically propelled by Maya Deren in the twentieth century.
- The Sight (2012, 16mm to digital video, 04:09, b&w/color, sound)
A song of creation: immaterial space spawns volatile matter; obfuscated landscape emerges from splintering celluloid. Created at the Independent Imaging Retreat, the landscape is seen anew by 16mm hand manipulation giving rise to a geometry of trees and meadows; the sonic score is subjected to similar direct manipulation.
- Chroma (2012, digital video, 03:26, color, silent)
A wild and hypnotic ride that focuses, via manic perspective shifts, on the driving movement of a solo figure against a backdrop of frenetically flickering colors; these jolting chromatic and frame variations dance as much as the performer.
- Chromium (2012, performance, 5:50, sound)
Translating the idea of a hard white metal, Vail moves sharply, quickly, and with odd isolations in a confined area, accompanied by a formal, busy piano melody. Quieter, eerie sounds accompany the acute shift to an adjacent space, designated for slow, calculated balances. Beneath a strong veneer, a layer of vulnerability reveals itself. Music by Ramón Delgado Palacios and David Barnes.
- Centre (2013, digital video, 03:57, color, silent
Measured viewpoints positioned on concentric circles dissect and engage the movement of a solo performer in an abandoned mill. The perspective of both movement and place collide.
- That Dizzying Crest (2014, 16mm to digital video, 10:37, b&w/color, sound)
Direct manipulation acts as inciting catalyst as a dancing figure becomes ingrained and lost in the celluloid, creating an immersive new realm for the moving figure. She repeats short phrases of choreography on ambient loop; each repetition alters our perception of movement and space.
- Dual Tests (2016, 16mm, 30:00, color, silent)
A filmmaker and a dancer meet in the same location twice a day once in the early morning, once in the late afternoon for five consecutive days. They create a series of ten in-camera 16mm films: a piece that maps the progression of improvised dance and cinematography and their collaborative relationship. Both artists untether their training in premeditated construction and make, act, compose, move, see, and interact in the moment.
Jeremy Moss is a filmmaker, curator, and teacher who received his MFA in film production from Ohio University in 2008. He currently teaches motion picture production, history, and theory at Franklin & Marshall College. As a practitioner, he works in a number of intersecting and overlapping genre, media, and modes — including dance film, speculative essay, surrealist narrative, and film emulsion-based abstraction. Moss is also an active board member and programmer for the media arts collective Moviate.
Pamela Vail, associate professor of dance at Franklin & Marshall College, is an improviser, choreographer, performer, and teacher. She is a co-founding member of the Architects, a performance improvisation quartet, with whom she has been teaching, creating and performing for over 20 years. Vail is also a founding member of critically acclaimed New York City-based Yanira Castro, a canary torsi. Vail has collaborated with a variety of independent choreographers and artists, and teaches master classes and performs her own choreography around the country.