“Shutter Speed: An Evening of Dance on Film”

Presented by: The Department of Theatre and Dance

Originally Performed
April 30 and May 1, 2021

Two students pose, one in a dance position.


UB Theatre and Dance’s “Shutter Speed: An Evening of Dance on Film” will feature original dance film premieres from a dozen choreographers, comprised of undergraduate students and MFA candidates, plus a new interdisciplinary collaboration with professional choreographer and department chair Anne Burnidge, poet Eli Clare, one of the 2020-21 UB Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholars, Azalia P. Muchransyah, PhD candidate in the Department of Media Study, and a team of undergraduate and graduate dance students.
 
More than 60 UB dance majors and MFA candidates will be featured, with pieces ranging from a singular performer, to duets and larger group pieces, in multiple outdoor locations, and with different themes and contexts. Dancers are upholding the highest safety precautions with respect to Covid-19. All dancers must be masked at all times and remain socially distanced.
 
The program is under the direction of clinical assistant professor Jenna Del Monte Zavrel, MFA. The student choreographer / filmmakers include: Daniella Bertrand, Anna Caison Boyd, Jacqueline Cherry, Alexis Corletta, Maria Gionis, Melanie Kaisen, Meg Kirchhoff, Homeria Lubin, Karrigan Rotella, and Samantha Schmeer.
 
“'Dance on Film’ has been a new genre for a while, but it wasn’t being produced on the same scale as concert dance,” said Zavrel. “Covid has made it more of the default setting (for now), so students are learning the technology and thinking of new ways to share dance. The beautiful thing is you get to see intimate moments and nuances because of the lens that you wouldn’t necessarily see if you were in a proscenium theatre. You get to be with the camera and dancers as they’re moving. I’m thrilled that people are making more work specifically for the camera.”
 
The performances will be created via a lab-centered process where the choreographers meet weekly on Zoom to learn camera and editing techniques. Then they will rehearse with the dancers online before filming at each outdoor site. The choreographers must conceptualize and create every aspect of their work, including choreography, costuming, composing shot lists, storyboarding, directing the film, and editing the footage for the final piece which will be live-streamed on the UB Center for the Arts YouTube channel. “The students are wearing all the hats,” added Zavrel. “It’s a heavy lift, plus learning the technology at the same time. And on top of that (it) being winter and during Covid. That just speaks to the ambition of UB Dance students. They want to do it all.”