EYE ON DANCE PILOBOLUS PROGRAM in DANCE ON CAMERA FESTIVAL
January 30, 2012
Eye on Dance, celebrating 30 years of fascinating interviews chronicling the world of
dance in America, was part of the Dance on Camera series at Lincoln Center. Celia
Ipiotis and Jeff Bush were heralded by Deirdre Towers, festival curator, for bringing
awareness of the process of dance to a wide audience.
Eye on Dance, first aired in 1981 on PBS, was an opportunity for scholars, historians,
dancers, choreographers and many other artists to discuss their work and philosophies. With the
innovation of portable video equipment, a whole new generation of videographers was inspired to open up worlds usually closed to the public.
EYE ON DANCE dared to explore dance, from
ballet to hip-hop, passing through an era identified by the "dance boom," "culture wars of the 80's," "gender politics," "multi-culturalism," ballet and modern mash-ups and so much more. These interviews were captured on film and are an
incredible window to the kind of creativity that was so prevalent. Informative conversations were
interspersed with performance footage and it was the only program of its kind at the
time -- and to this day. Ms. Ipiotis and Mr. Bush are raising funds to preserve and process the complete EYE ON DANCE archive. This archive will be invaluable to anyone studying the history of dance or simply interested
in the subject of these videos.
An interview from 1986 with Moses Pendleton and Jonathan Wolken had the audience
of the Walter Reade Theater laughing at the hilarious interaction of these two founders
of Pilobolus. Having not spoken since their public break-up in 1983, it was clear that they were
conflicted over being reunited and definitely in "high spirits" as Ms. Ipiotis called it! The
interaction of Mr. Pendleton and Mr. Wolken, with Ms. Ipiotis trying to stay in command,
is a perfect example of the kind of innovative, thought provoking interviews that make
up the Eye On Dance library.
Before this gem from Eye on Dance was a film by Philippe Baylaucq, called "ORA".
Choreographed by Jose Navas and using high definition thermographic infrared
cameras, the dancers were filmed so that one can view their heat producing bodies as
they move trough the dance. It was like watching biological light. The form began like
a cell and appeared to divide, then looked like pickles curving toward and away from
Eventually the dancers forms became more visible, at times looking like
they were moving against a rock wall or a reflective floor. Neither the choreography
nor the music was very compelling, so the innovation in film making was the most
Supposedly the cameras were only used previously for US military
assignments, so this was definitely a much better application.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY --Deborah Wingert