Cinedance, Dance in Cinema, and Dancing Cinema

4.2 Digital Cinedance and Video Dance

With the advent of digital technology, the boundaries of video dance became even more difficult to define. Video dance is brought together with approaches from experimental film, music videos, and the processing of filmed images during VJing — areas in which the musical component plays a greater role. VJing, in particular, often explicitly draws on the abstract avant-garde cinema of the 1920s and 1930s.[21] Cinematic sequences are mixed and looped rhythmically to music either live or in the studio. The sequences are edited and assembled in time with the music; unlike commercially targeted music videos, the material rarely portrays the musicians and is frequently abstract. Not unlike the early avant-garde films, the result is a cinematic dance of abstract forms — a dance of graphics, objects, and clip sequences now created through the use of (digital) cinematic techniques. Dance can have an ornamental role in music videos, too. The kaleidoscopically edited bottom-view shots of the dancer in the video for The Zephyr Song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (2002) are reminiscent of the abstract chorus girls in Busby Berkeley’s work. But there are also digital video works that refer back more explicitly than video dance does to the tradition of cinematically generated dance and at the same time incorporate musical components. For example, in his video Au quart de tour (2004), Antonin De Bemels has his dancer perform a stroboscopic dance whose rhythm is based on a composition by musician Rob(u)rang.

Cf. the DVD Director’s Cut (2003) by Rechenzentrum, which features titles such as 35mm and lye. In 2007, the VJ collective Pfadfinderei held a VJ performance featuring remixes of Oskar Fischinger’s films.