Monday, August 13, 2007

Super Slow Dancing

Time flies when you're having fun. Unless you're photographer David Michalek. Then it practically stands still. The proof is in Michalek's latest project, Slow Dancing, which was on view this summer outside the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. On a rainy Manhattan night, Michalek explains to me what he had to go through to create his epic work of art — super-slow-motion, hi-def films of 45 dancers leaping, pirouetting, and stomping. The images are projected on three screens, each five stories high.

The effect is remarkable. By slowing down just five seconds of conventional dance movements Michalek reveals a rich world of hidden undulations, minuscule adjustments, and concealed strain. It takes 10 minutes for each five-second sequence to unspool. Eadweard Muybridge would have loved it.


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