My friend Patricia and I have known each other for years now, ever since I started dance lessons during my student years in Tilburg. I was impressed with her skills from the start and later asked if she wanted to do a video with me, which she gladly said yes to. It was the start of a great friendship, and after a few years of separation (while I lived in the UK, sorry about that!) we reunited again this year to do another video. I proudly present our latest work!
Outré Lux dance improv
Each time Patricia and I film, we come up with something different. This year (partially due to lack of time) we decided to do a full improv video. A fair challenge, because it means you have to make up everything as you go: for me, it meant being immensely creative with my filming, and for Patricia it took all of her improv dance skills to create something worth watching. Another thing we approached differently was location: before, we’d always shot in one location. This time however, we decided to move around and film in multiple locations. It felt like a lot more work, but hopefully it will also show more variety in the video. (And as a bonus, it resolves the whole continuity problem we’ve had with videos in the past.)
- Equipment: I switched from Sony to Canon a couple of years ago, which has given the video a different quality.
- This is a full 4-minute improv video: we’d done improv before, but it was only very short, and meant as an extra bonus on top of another video.
- Shot in multiple locations, rather than just one.
- Shot fully in public with lots of people around! Difficult, terribly intimidating, sometimes annoying, but also a major achievement.
- Patricia’s experience level: all our other videos were shot before she started at the university of performing arts – now she’s entering her final year.
- Preparation: honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever been this badly prepared. There was no time for Patricia to plan ahead, so the music was chosen only a day before. We hadn’t thought too deeply about locations, and I even forgot to charge my camera in between filming days. So really a lot of improvising happened for this video!
Our first video was shot at Fontys, where Patricia studies now. It was our first project together and a massive challenge. We both look back on it now with slight embarrassment, but it does commemorate a really lovely time, as it was the start of our friendship. I also created a behind-the-scenes blooper video which is almost 100% more enjoyable than the actual choreography video. However, it is quite nice to see how much we’ve both grown creatively since this video! Fun fact: Patricia was only 16 when we shot this. It is also my best watched video on Youtube to this date (20k views).
Our second and third videos were shot in the same year around the same time. The second was another well planned-out choreography that we filmed in the park behind my house. It was our first time filming outside, but we had very few issues with people messing up the shots (apart from this one grandpa walking right through it. SO RUDE!). I did get another fun blooper video out of it, though.
The third video was a short improv moment we shot in front of a mural near the train station. It was mostly just for fun, and that in fact makes it my favourite video (but definitely not Patricia’s, from what I understand). I think this experience was perhaps most useful though, because it eventually led to us doing a full improv video this time around.
Guest piece: further comments by Patricia
Laura and I have been making videos together for a while now and it’s fun to look back and see what we produced in the past.
I can’t speak about camera work, but I can reflect on my dancing, which wasn’t all that great back then. But hey, I was confident, I just got accepted at a Dance Academy and I was young (and maybe a bit naive). I thought I knew what and who I was as a dancer/artist and looking back at it now, I was clearly on my way to finding out that part of myself.
Gradually, over the past few years at university, I have been confronted with a lot of different dance styles, but also confronted with weaknesses, self-doubt and criticism. All of that makes you reflect on yourself and your actions (which also influences your dancing) way more than usual. Having the opportunity to dive into all of these styles for almost 4 years, you discover and create your own movement language. Some styles will influence your movement language more, because it’s more suitable for your body than others.
Movement quality is something that changes constantly depending on how your body feels. It’s also a matter of training all those different qualities, broadening your knowledge and broadening your own movement language by experimenting.
Reflecting back on the older videos of us, with me dancing, it’s great to say that I have indeed grown. I have come to realise who I am as a dancer/artist/performer/person and it’s visible in my movements. I have discovered how I like to move and what influences my movement language and quality. How I would describe my movement language:
‘I incorporate popping techniques, isolations, gestures into my movements in order to create a certain flow, using my arms to create more roundness instead of angularity. I try to flow through angles and isolations, but I also have times when I stick to angles and isolations without a flow, which makes it more static.’
As a dancer you never stop exploring, so who knows, maybe my movement language I have created now, will look completely different in a few years. To many more fun videos with Laura!!! 🙂