Thierry de Mey adds value to dance performance with his filming

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2012, 10:20am

One Flat Thing, reproduced

When Wim Wenders released his stereoscopic take on Pina Bausch's legacy last year, aficionados of both the filmmaker and the choreographer raved about a spectacular hybrid of two distinct art forms brought about by new technology. Those with fewer emotions invested in Wenders or Bausch, however, have since raised questions about whether Pina really added to our understanding of Bausch's work, beyond the fact that she moved her dancers outside the auditorium and had them perform in open spaces.

The same can't be said of Thierry De Mey's dance films, which are more radical remakes than reverent celluloid versions of the performances.

Take his film on William Forsythe's One Flat Thing, reproduced. Beginning with two dancers crawling beneath a row of tables shot from a low angle from the front, it resembles a shot of soldiers pulling themselves forward in a trench - an image of dance as warfare.

It's an important note about how Forsythe and his performers work with the tables, the flat thing(s) of the title, which serve as their set and their stage.

One Flat Thing, reproduced is just the latest in a long line of De Mey's riveting and original films on dance. Shown alongside his take on Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's Rosas danst Rosas, his works are a remarkable testament to how dance films can be an art form in themselves, rather than just a spin-off of modern dance. Clarence Tsui One Flat Thing, reproduced and Rosas danst Rosas , Oct 1, 3.30pm, Broadway Cinematheque, part of the Jumping Frames International Dance Video Festival