Black & Light Dances

— session #2 Free Radicals

Wednesday at Galeria Zé dos Bois (Rua da Barroca, 59)
Friday at ZDB 8 Marvila (Praça David Leandro da Silva, 2)

Black & Light Dances
Breakaway, 1966, Bruce Conner
Free Radicals (1958-79), Len Lye
Lights, 1964-66, Marie Menken
The Very Eye of Night, 1958)
46bis, 1988, Pascal Baes
Symphonie Diagonale, 1924, Viking Eggeling

Session #2 of the film cycle Free Radicals: dance experiences in experimental cinema programmed by Bárbara Janicas.

All the sessions of the cycle take place on Wednesdays at 7pm at ZDB and are repeated on Fridays of the same week at 10pm at ZDB 8 Marvila.

Symphonie diagonale
Viking Eggeling, 1924
Digital, b&aw, sil., 3min30

“From a ‘body of origin’, a row of thin lines aligns itself, lengthens, curls up, initially merging into one another and then moving apart. Their modes of relationship are not fantasy games, but are guided by a mathematical rhythm (…). The delicacy of the composition is ensured by the subtle play of small groups of lines [organised in] melodic movements that transform into large forms, rich in detail, evolving rhythmically.”
– Rudolf Kurtz

Free Radicals
Len Lye, 1958-79
16mm, b&w, sound (optic), 4min30

“Watching the images in this film shake and rush to the rhythm of the music took the place of dance and gave me, at least vicariously, an experience of aesthetic emotion on a sensory level.”
– Len Lye

The very eye of night
Maya Deren, 1958
16mm, b&w, sound (optic), 15min

“It’s a ballet of the night, seen entirely in negative, in which the dancers are like constellations orbiting continuously in the night sky.”–  Maya Deren

Pas de deux
Norman McLaren, 1968
16mm, b&w, sound (optic), 13min20

“With Pas de deux, McLaren had already achieved an image of dance unrivalled in its category. The taste for analysing and synthesising movement (modelled on the chronophotographies of Marey and Muybridge), the melodic and harmonious use of lines, and the reinvention of reality through the medium of the cinematographic device are here brought to their peak.”
– Dick Tomasovic

46 bis
Pascal Baes, 1988
16mm, b&w, sound (optic), 4min

“The inseparability of the ‘graceful glide’ and the ‘rhythmic breaks’ that rhythmise the attitudes of the ghostly characters in Pascal Baes’ films not only disrupts the conventional postures of everyday life, but also transforms dance into a new kind of movement.”
– Claudine Eizykman

Marie Menken, 1964-66
Digital, color, silent, 6min50

“There’s no raison d’être for my films. I simply liked the crackling sound of the camera and, as for me it was an extension of the painting, I tried it and loved it. I’ve never been satisfied with the conventional immobility of painting, I’ve always wondered what would happen if I constantly changed the light source and the position.”
– Marie Menken

Bruce Conner, 1966
Digital, b&w, sound, 5min

“The dance in Breakaway functions as a trance ritual: as the lyrics of the song announce, Toni Basil is on the verge of breaking, she wants to free herself from the ‘bonds’ of everyday life, but to do so she has to get rid of the materiality of her body; and Bruce Conner can help her break free, because he knows that in the cinema all real bodies are transformed into virtual images, and all images are inevitably doomed to disappear.”
– Bárbara Janicas

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