Capturing the Dance
Design, Writing

Capturing the Dance

Capstone for BFA in Communication Design

Art Direction

What happens after movement stops? How is a dance preserved?

Among dance fans and professionals, there’s a gap in knowledge of what happens to a dance after the live performance ends.

To further investigate this question, I spoke with choreographers, dancers, historians, and notators, no two of whom provided the same opinion about documenting movement. Some even considered preservation of any sort to be an afterthought, something secondary to the live performance. What emerged was a debate about types of media—particularly surrounding written notation vis-a-vis film—that illuminated both the limits of current technology and issues with symbolic representations that take precious time to understand.

The book is broken into sections that deal with the early development of dance notation, my interviews with dance professionals, digital alternatives to notation, and a contemplation of not attempting to preserve performance at all.

This book is for balletomanes and anyone curious about the intersections of the four-dimensional with the three-dimensional with the two-dimensional, a question that seems increasingly relevant in today’s digital age. It is also for those interested in translation and comprehension, interested in how art survives the passing of generations, or contemplating the balance of fleeting and lasting experiences.

As does anything durational, dance makes us consider our own mortality and concerns surrounding loss. How much does preservation matter?

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