Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Safety Dance

13Bit may be embarking on yet another documentary - about yet an other forgotten artist. This one is Margie Beales - an improv artist in Manhattan's Tribeca. At first, Paul and I were skeptical about making another documentary like Lumia. But this will not be another lumia - hopefully more fast cheap and out of control. Once we met margie - we were sold. A 73 year old former improv dancer - with no formal improv training - is a true new york personality and a fantastic individual. Her personality is truly compelling. We started watching some of her dance videos from 30 years ago and just fell in love with the idea of a documentary or her, or on ny avant garde dance - or something like that.

I know nothing about dance. In fact, growing up I sort of despised dance as a pansy activity. However, I take Kung Fu, and many of the best Kung Fu students are dancers. So - I am gaining respect for dance. I have especially developed incredible respect for the ability of dancers to remember dance steps - Kung Fu steps are difficult enough to remember.

In order to learn about dance, I am immersing myself in dance literature, dance documentaries, and actual dances. Paul and I will also be speaking to dancers and choreographers. The research phase of a documentary is always a lot of fun. You learn about a new subject area as you grope around for the story.

I just finished The Art of Making Dances by Doris Humphrey and am about to embark on bios on Isadora Duncan and Ruth St Denis and Anna Halprin. But first - I am going to get a background history by reading Ballet and Modern Dance. Over the weekend I read Twyla Tharp's book on creativity. Normally, I shy away from books on the creative process - because really they all say the same thing. But I was curious about the creative process of a choreographer - and I do like her box method of organizing projects. I may try it - it sort of reminds me of the folders in 'getting things done'.

The sustainability doc is going well - we will start logging the footage probably next week - and are planning a field trip down the colorado river in the spring. We hope to be finished by the beginning of summer. The doc will probably be about water usage and water rights with the damming of the colorado and the subsequent poisoning of down river farms in mexico as a focal point. We will also probably discuss the different ways of looking at sustainability (where the footprint metrics come in)

We are almost done with a first cut of lakshmi - except for the motown act dream sequence - which we have rewritten to be a rap by Tia! our resident muse and robot lover. We plan to start sending Lakshmi out to festivals in January. We think it is a great counterpoint to the super slick wall street II.

Anyway - tonight Lian and I have our first opera of the season - House of the Dead - perhaps there will be some dancing

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