Dance on Film
Highlighting the Indefinable
By. Megan Curet
SILENT BY CHARLOTTE COLMANT
Charlotte Colmant is a French dancer and choreographer who makes her way not only between Europe and the USA but dance on film and stage. As a long time videographer and choreographer we have decided to highlight Colmant for this European issue of TiLLT Magazine. Catching up with Colmant these days are difficult as she shuffles her work and camera across the continent of Europe.
In 2017, are we experiencing a new phenomenon through social media with dance on video and film, therefore how do we place what is art from what is a teaser, or a trailer. Are dance films the new wave sweeping into performance? Colmant straddles this line herself in an exciting series of works, which she has decided as indefinable.
From Paris, Berlin, Prague and Portugal it is still a surprise that Colmant is able to collaborate with some of the most exciting artist in dance. From Sidra Bell to Martha Graham company soloist and principal dancers Lorenzo Pagano and Lloyd Knight. We managed to stop Colmant in her tracks while currently in Berlin before trekking off to Prague.
Originally from Paris, Charlotte Colmant moved in New York in 2011, after graduating from the Sorbonne University while and training in a contemporary. She then continued her dance studies at the Martha Graham School in New York City. She has worked with contemporary artist Linda Tegg, MIT theater director Caleb Hammond, LEIMAY, and Sidra Bell. Some of her choreographic and video works have been presented and performed in various places and festivals in New York such as The Current Sessions, Center for Performance Research, The Kraine Theater, TSA gallery, and Lake Studios in Berlin. Two of her dance films have also been selected at the "BODY in Focus", international video dance festival in Braga, Portugal.
TiLLT: What inspires your work?
My work is very much inspired by the dancers I work with. I always work with dancers that I know very well. I usually do not need to tell them much because I trust them. In my videos, I do not try to communicate a particular message or a story; I am experimenting, like I am still experimenting in life. My interest lies in the visual and aesthetic. Maya Deren and Teresa de Keersmakeer are my two main inspirations; and I often find my work references them.
TiLLT: How does dance meet video in your work?
Video and dance are strongly related as two visual forms. I think there is a great relationship between video editing and choreography. To set up a dance video is to re-choreograph a dance visually. It's like a puzzle, fragments of movements that you can mix, transform, erase. I feel like choreographing a piece on my computer. I found them strongly related. Video can also captures what dance sometimes attempt to express, or emphasize a movement to bring a stronger intensity to it. Dancing on a stage is dancing in front of an audience and therefore generally a large number of people. Dancing in front of a camera is more intimate, or anonymous. The camera is not a person, but a focus. It becomes a partner because it is active and not passive as a spectator. There is a game, which is established, a game I enjoy very much.
TiLLT: How do you see the future of dance on video shaping our understanding of performance?
Dance on video is an easier approach to dance, in general. Dance has always been the little finger of the Art World, where most of the people don't really have an access to and cannot really connect to it as much as the other forms of Art. Dance on video is a way to highlight the dance world better, opening a new window to it, bringing a new curiosity to the world of dance and dancers. It brings a new light to the dance world, a beautiful light.