Susan Marshall: Frame Dances

Frame Dances (2008–2010) is an exploration of scale and mediation—a collection of dances and films exposing and theatricalizing the act of digital reproduction. How does the recorded mediate our experience of the live? How does the confined framing of the dance hide the labor of others working outside of the frame to make the dance possible?

“I was drawn to this idea because of my interest in how many of our cultural experiences are now mediated through television and the Web, and in the fact that the resulting ‘performance space’ is the two-dimensional rectangle of our iPhones or computer screens.” (Susan Marshall, 2008)

In the live performance-installation, dancers are unveiled in confined spaces; their dances are filmed from above and projected simultaneously. The audience moves freely through the space, becoming part of the work as they choose how they view the pieces, forced to choose in each moment between viewing the work live or as a reproduction.

The creation of one-minute remix videos made specifically for smartphones and shared here was the final step in this exploration of the act of mediation.

Frame Dances was created as part of the company’s residency at Montclair State University; the one-minute videos were distributed through PEAK Performances.

Choreography: Susan Marshall in collaboration with the Company
Composer: Peter Whitehead
World Premiere: Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
New York Premiere: Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York, NY
Video Design and Projections: Shige Moriya and Ryan Holsapple
Original Video and Projection Design: Roderick Murray
Video Editing: Chris Fiore
Costumes: Mary Kokie McNaugher
Dancers: Kristen Hollinsworth, Luke Miller, Petra van Noort, Joseph Poulson, Ildiko Toth, Darrin Michael Wright

Frame Dances was commissioned by PEAK Performances @ Montclair, with additional commissioning and residency support by The Music Theater Group.

Watch Frame Dance Links:

  • Body of Water (Milky Remix)
  • Forward (Remix)
  • Green Green Grass (Remix)
  • Impresario: Opening Night
  • Impresario
  • Sandstone (Fall Away Remix)
  • The Third
  • Drawn