I am very grateful to dancer/choreographer Makoto Hirano for being open to filming an excerpt of his new solo work, “Boom Bap Tourism” which he performed a workshop presentation recently at the Asian Arts Initiative and is one of the best solo performance pieces I have seen in years. It’s a personal autobiographical journey through dance, performance, spoken word, and a few elements of spontaneous neofuturist unpredictability.
“Life Dance” is an excerpt of that work and this is the second take that we did using the Pegasus II and the GH1. This test was to see how well the Pegasus II and the GH1 would be in the documentation of dance, performance, and theater events. Obviously in this particular case, we were documenting the piece intimately not as live theater but as dance performance for film. So my goal as DP/Camera operator was to really dance with Makoto and ride the journey that he was on. We didn’t script where he was going to stand but since this was our second take I had a better sense of anticipating his movement. It was still rather organic and it was really nice to be able to have the Pegasus II and the GH1 work in concert together.
There were a few bounces, slight sways, and a few auto focus tracking issues but the stability of the Pegasus II is much better now that it is weighted properly. I’m just really happy with the results despite the few flaws. So it’s exciting results and I think many people will be able to use this little mini Pegasus II steadicam device for so many kinds of shoots. I hope this is just an example of one of the many possibilities.
By the way, the sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman is so integral to this piece and is just amazing.
This version of “Life Dance” was from the “Boom Bap Tourism” performed at the Asian Arts Initiative on August 7, 2009.
Creator/Performer: Makoto Hirano
Project Mentor: Hellmut Gottschild
Dramaturg: Andrew Simonet
Sound Designer: Mikaal Sulaiman with additional engineering and composition by Dan Giraldo
Videographer: Gary San Angel
BBT is made possible through an Independence Foundation Fellowship
Co-production support from the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater,
Yoga Sutra Philadelphia, and Asian Arts Initiative.