Monday, August 31, 2009

Fusing Dance, Video, Visual Art & Music

The advent of online media has collapsed geographical borders between artists around the world. So, can there be a new fusion of dance, video/film, visual arts, music & other crafts to create something new and awe-inspiring? 

Now, it's easier to share ideas, communicate, and collaborate on projects with social networking technology. We have the ability to pitch ideas out into the Interwebs, even in a rough draft fashion, and mold them through online collaboration. If the artistic landscape was previously segregated into different disciplines - dancers mingled with dancers, musicians stuck with musicians - then now, it's possible to bridge those differences at a faster rate. Also, there is a significant trend towards the DIY - do it yourself - culture since the tools are more readily available to create your graphics, upgrade your photos, and shoot and edit your own videos. Dancers are no longer just dancers, filmmakers are no longer just filmmakers. We put on multiple hats and run with them.

If you paired a visual artist, a dancer, and a musician together on one collaborative project, what would they come up with? The possibilities are endless, aren't they? All it takes are open, humble, and creative minds that love to explore. The kind of cross-pollination of ideas is still a huge canvas to discover.

Some thoughts of where this could go:

- Music videos with dancers telling the storyline of a song completely through their movement.
- Spoken word poets performing live as visual artists make paintings and collages to their words.
- A fusion of spoken word and dancers together telling a story live.
- Filmmakers using mobile video editing setups to create visual experiences based on a musician's performance.
- Short films being made as inspirations from a musician's song, expanding the characters and world from the song.
- Using social network technology and crowdsourcing via twitter and facebook to allow an audience to influence certain aspects of a live performance.

Currently, there's a movement online with production companies and collectives like Wong Fu Productions who are bringing artists like Far East Movement, David Choi, and Quest for live events like the International Secret Agents Concert on Sept 6. This is an example of how creative minds who make the most of the accessible tools of artistic creation are establishing their own mark.

Perhaps one aspect of the future of street dance lies in embracing these opportunities to work with artists from different fields. The expansive media culture that we live in allows for the rules to be broken and for new ones to be written. Even with online dance videos, can there be more than dance tutorials and documenting of competitions on Youtube? Combining the talents of filmmakers and dancers is still largely unexplored online. What if filmmakers were brought on stage with live performers to create images or video segments that the dancers interacted with? Can the story of a person's life be told in a live event combining film, dance, and music with interactive elements, besides being presented in the usual documentary film fashion? What if you could literally "walk" into someone's life on stage and experience their key moments?

If anything, the human spirit is so creative in its curiosity, that we can only hope for the new possibilities to arrive soon.

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