A dance piece and photo book explore movement captured on film
Choreographer Meryl Murman's Ways of Forgetting had a successful run in Los Angeles in 2014, and she's halfway through making it into a feature film. The original piece had dancers play seven people trying to make personal connections in a society whose workings tend to leave people feeling lonely. The film combines the poetic abstract movement of the original piece with Murman's inspirations from graphic novels and martial arts.
While working on the film with cinematographer Nick Shamblott, they discovered something in still photos. As they examined screen grabs from the film, they noticed frozen moments of action, marked by photographic motion blur and captured poses by the dancers.
"We're used to seeing motion in a certain way, but the photos revealed this aspect of the motion or action that's lost to the human eye," Murman says. "From a choreographic perspective, there is all this labor that goes into a movement, but it's rendered invisible. To be able to trace that is fascinating — to trace the tempos of the body in motion."
Those photos became the inspiration for Light Moving Through Time, the name of a dance piece and a book of photos that debut Feb. 17 at Art Klub. The performance also includes choreographer Ann Glaviano's Known Mass: St. Maurice, a dance installation.