Dance in 3D

Maybe I'm a snob, but I always saw 3D movies as a gimmicky fad that should never have left the '80s. Dance films in 3D seemed especially specious. Do you really want Giselle jumping out of the screen at you?

 

I think my answer might be "Yes." Last night I saw a screening of PINA, Wim Wender's tribute to the late post-modern choreographer Pina Bausch. It's a documentary filmed in 3D that includes interviews with Bausch's dancers intercut with site-specific bits and performance excerpts. It was some of the most visceral dance footage I'd ever seen. Or rather, experienced. When the camera is onstage right alongside the dancers in 3D, it feels so real; you're no longer simply a voyeur sitting in a dark movie theater watching a screen, but you're right there on set, moving with, then moving through the dancers. It feels similar to breaking the fourth wall—but without the accompanying self-conscious awkwardness.

 

Most impressively, the 3D effect diminishes that static feeling that usually sucks the life out of dance on film. Because the dancers' movement is so immediate, it doesn't seem as canned as it usually does. The 3D technology isn't quite perfect yet—when the dancers move quickly, their limbs sometimes blur. But 3D translates dance onto film in a way that retains more of its magic. Lesson learned: Don't knock it till you try it.

 

P.S. Pina Bausch was brilliant.

Latest Posts


iStock

Ask Amy: My Parents Want Me to Get a Job and Cut Back on Dance Classes

I am thinking about pursuing a career in ballet. However, my parents have made it clear that at some point they want me to get a job, which they acknowledge would mean possibly dropping dance, or at least not taking as many classes. I agree that getting a job is important so that I'm able to make my own money, but dropping dance classes is the exact opposite of what will get me to where I want to be. Any suggestions? —Kaia

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks