Sunday, January 4, 2009

a very strange experience

Is what I think watching yourself dance on video is. No matter how fantastic something feels while you're doing it, on the flat, glowing screen it always looks less: less interesting, less beautiful, less weighty, less personable. And sometimes, when something feels really, really, incredibly dreadful, you can't even remember why when you watch it later.

A manila envelope showed up in the mailbox yesterday with a dvd of a project I did the summer before last. It was a difficult project. The concept was interesting: a composer took phrases created by a choreographer and arranged them. He composed the dance and the music, and made a video projection to accompany both. It was an incredible exercise in structure. However, it was also really, really hard, mostly because we rehearsed at the end of days when we had already been dancing for six hours. I was always exhausted, or grumpy, or sore, or famished. I was generally not happy. I felt like a scarecrow rattling around to the music. I was absolutely certain that I looked awful.

Watching the video, I can't pick out now what felt so uncomfortable. It looks fine... and this almost irritates me because I felt so intensely awkward. Apparently, my judgement is not to be trusted. Either that, or everything gets ironed flat on film.


Anonymous said...

When I did theatre productions, I tended to fid my feelings about the nights performance where the opposite of how it actually went. I'm not sure why, but a performance that felt good would nearly always get poor feedback and vica versa.

Emily Jiang said...

It's like listening to a recording of your voice, especially when you sing. You think you know what your voice sounds like, but the recording itself gives you what everyone else experiences, though to a lesser degree, as recordings will always be inferior to the live experience. Yet, just because others can't perceive your feelings as you perform doesn't mean that your feelings weren't valid. They were--they were.