Film made for a competition “Nakrec wiersz” (shoot a poem)
Idea, directing, montage, music: Jagoda Bobrowska
Dance: Elena Sgarbi and Svelin Velchev
I suppose this is technically a music video rather than a videopoem, but it strikes me as much closer to the latter genre to the former — save for the fact that the poem takes the form of a very beautiful art song.
Composed by Lior Rosner
Soprano: Janai Brugger
Directed and After Effects by Tal Rosner
DoP: Adam Woodhall
Dancers: Cameron McMillan, Fiona Merz
About the project:
One of America’s greatest poets, Langston Hughes was a social activist and early innovator of jazz poetry. Hughes distilled the experience of his generation of African Americans into poems that sang in his clear and unapologetic voice. In “In Time of Silver Rain: Seven Poems by Langston Hughes,” composer Lior Rosner uses his music to liberate Hughes’ words from the boundaries of historical context. Rosner’s modern settings challenge us to consider the contemporary relevance of Hughes’ frank and often searing meditations on the universal themes of oppression, loss, frustration and love. While the emotions captured in these songs are indeed timeless, beneath the undeniable modernity of Rosner’s music, there are subtle harmonic nods to the jazz that provided the sonic backdrop for the Harlem Renaissance.
This is Shutters Shut, choreographed by the legendary duo Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, A.K.A. Lightfoot León, and premiered by the Nederlands Dans Theater II in 2003. Paul Lightfoot told Ballet magazine, “In a way Shutters is a study, it’s an exercise.”
This performance is by Gauthier Dance, the dance ensemble of Theaterhaus Stuttgart. The dancers are Armando Braswell and Rosario Guerra. The film was edited by Valerie Haaf-Seidel, with camera work by Fritz Moser and Werner Schmidtke. (There’s another performance on YouTube, by Nederlands Dans Theater II itself, but that’s only an excerpt and seems to have been uploaded by someone other than the copyright holder.)
This is Ink Spilled in Cursive from Company E, “a contemporary repertory dance company and film-making group deeply committed to the finest repertory and artistry, with a focus on the power of art to bring awareness, enjoyment and inspiration to artists and audiences around the world.” The choreographer/performer is Jason Garcia Ignacio, with an original, live score composed by Brenden Schultz. Ink Spilled in Cursive will be performed as part of a show called Next: Spain on November 16-17 in Washington, DC. (I’m guessing that the text of the poem will be projected on or above the stage. It certainly seems integral to the performance.)
Another in the Winning Words series of poetry videos filmed by Andy Hutch. “Here professional parkour athlete Jolade Olusanya reads Lavinia Greenlaw’s ‘Kata’ in Stockwell.” I don’t have a category for parkour, but this seems close enough to some of the poetry dance videos to include in that category.
The “dance” category here at Moving Poems, though small, includes some of the most interesting and watchable poetry videos on the site, and this is a very worthy addition to their number. The filming, editing and soundtrack are all the work of Kish Patel, “a 20 year old graphic, web and sound designer from London, UK.”
This is one of several video interpretations of Kate Ruse’s poems about the dancer Nijinsky to have been made into a video, according to her website. Annie Robinson is both dancer and choreographer. See the description at Vimeo for the text of the poem.
I’ve posted a lot of dance + poetry videos and a lot of spoken word videos, but I believe this is the first in which the poet dances as he recites his poem. This was produced by the St. Paul, Minnesota-based organization Poetry Observed, which according to the description on YouTube “is committed to producing high quality videos of performance poetry, filmed off the stage. Our first series features Minnesota spoken word poets and was produced in collaboration with Button Poetry.”