Out of the Air (2013-2015)

A dance made for camera
Choreography: Sarah Hixon
Music:  Jacob Reed
Camera:  Rachael Riggs-Leyva, Erin Tisdale

Out of the Air  is dance created for camera inspired by Doris Humphrey’s Air for the G-string. Like the archive of her work, dance is in a near constant state of disappearance, gone as soon as it occurs. In Out of the Air, fleeting movement is juxtaposed with a stage space evocative of architectural ruins. Bodies seem to disappear and evaporate even before phrases are complete. The experience of time changes throughout, contrasting meditative slow sequences against quick movement and fast cuts. Close-ups and Dutch angles articulate the abstract architectural forms of the dancers. These forms never repeat exactly the same way highlighting that, like nature, there is constant change in dance. While acknowledging our own finite condition, the piece focuses on the beauty of this ephemerality and rejoices in our connection to the past.

I play with the dichotomy between the ruin-like outdoor stage and the “box” or screen through which the dance is presented. Shots absent of dancers make the space seem as significant as the bodies. The camera provides a close-up look of the dancers, giving consequence to detail.

The film focuses on time and the very nature of performance. I chose to create a dance specifically for camera to juxtapose the idea of movement “preservation” and the ephemerality of performance. Even the setting evokes the deterioration of space over time with architecture overgrown by nature.