This is an edited version of “Life Dance” by dancer / choreographer Makoto Hirano shot with the Pansasonic GH1 and the Pegasus II DV stabilizer using the stock 14-140 lens in (iA) mode.
This version of “Life Dance” combines both takes that we did at the Asian Arts Initiative theater. The 2nd Take was better as a whole and I kept it in it’s entirety. The 1st take I was a little tentative at first and also accidentally brushed up against Makoto so the camera spun but as the piece went a long I got my momentum and still captured some interesting and powerful moments of this very simple and amazing piece. I shot with the Variable ND filter and so I set the filter so that the image is a tad darker on the 1st take than on the 2nd Take. That’s how you’ll know which take it was. In retrospect, I should not have adjusted the Variable ND filter so that both takes would match up. Also, you’ll notice that at 14mm my lens hood starts to show on the edge of the frame. Just something to be aware about. It seems that at 17mm the lens hood doesn’t show but I felt I needed the shorter focal length to capture as much full body movement as possible. It would be really nice to have that 7-14mm Panasonic m4/3 lens it would really help to capture the full body movement but I don’t know it’s abilities to have full functionality with all the auto features in the GH1. I think that will definitely be my next lens to try out. Especially, when moving using the Pegasus II you need that extra bit of coverage and it helps to mask that slight bit of camera sway that is still inevitable using any camera stabilizer.
Overall, I combined the best moments from each take and in some small way we get a sense of Makoto’s struggle a bit more especially when he starts to fall to the ground during the later half of the piece. Many of those shots are from the 1st take and it’s nice to get that perspective and to give it an almost two camera shoot feel.
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.