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Movie Natters: September 10, 2008 Archive

The real reason for dance in the quarry

Posted at 8:25 PM on September 10, 2008 by Euan Kerr

You will be hearing a great deal about the epic dance production in the Rainbow Quarry in Central Minnesota this weekend.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company will perform a 90 minute piece on a circular stage specially built for the show. What makes the performance even more spectacular is the audience which sits on all sides will be surrounded by an orchestra of 150 musicians.

For the modern dance world it's the place to be this weekend, and possibly this year.

What is interesting from a film fan point of view is one of the reasons it's happening is so filmmaker Charles Atlas can capture the whole thing on camera.

Atlas is in a long term project to film Cunningham's major works, and the quarry project was mounted in part because it is a spectacular place to shoot this film.

I spoke with Atlas as he and his crew prepared the five camera set-up they will use during all the performances. (He's the one wearing the orange cap.)

He said that he hopes that in addition to the straight documentation of the piece, he will also create a museum installation which will turn the dance inside out by projecting images on gallery walls. This will allow visitors to look out to see the dancers rather than look in as they will do during the show.

September 2008
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