Visual Media

‘ The video camera also played a crucial role in developing contact improvisation. It provided constant feedback to dancers, showing them what the dancing that they were sensing internally looked like for an observer. Videotapes contributed to development of a shared movement vocabulary within and improvisational structure’ (Novack 1990:  78).


There are many interesting questions surrounding the use of photographs and video in researching and representing contact improvisation that we would like to explore.

As Novack says video has been used from the beginning of the creation of the form. It continues to be used in many different ways as the wide variety of video on CI on YouTube attest.

One question is how is a festival remembered either through video documentation and/or photographs.

As a participant what is the difference between looking at Patrick Beelaert’s photographs of Freiburg 2012 and the video we shot. As I look through his photos from that year I see how often his and my attention focussed on similar events and people, how I was curious at the gaze of his camera as he captured the gaze of mine.

What for example is the difference the quality of memory of seeing Raquel in this image and seeing a still of the same event?

Another central question Lemmer mentions at the beginning of the film.  Can video actually capture a quality of relating that is so central to so many people’s experience of CI? This question may relate more to assumptions we hold about film, that it can capture reality.

If we let go of that assumption then video becomes less about capturing reality than creating a co-created representation that serves particular purposes.

We would like to open up those purposes, intentions and possibilities to further research and invite you to use the film and then feedback to us your experiences.

To contribute to this theme please go to our feedback section.

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