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William Forsythe’s screendance Alignigung (2016) depicts two male dancers, one fair- and the other brown-skinned, in hyperflexible and intimate configurations that vacillate between object and human. Alignigung engages with an egalitarian ethos along the same lines as contact improvisation but further demonstrates an alternative masculinity through movement qualities by reimagining the stereotypical brown body.
This article analyses Thierry De Mey's screendance One Flat Thing, reproduced based on William Forsythe's dance of the same name. The filmmaker creates a heightened atmosphere of otherworldliness by drawing on the choreographer's own conception of it: from romantic ballet and the technique of disfocus. In addition to filming Forsythe's main dance, the screendance includes five movement sequences that do not appear in the original choreography. Their interspersion into the filming of the main dance contributes strikingly to the alien landscape: (1) the architectural composition of the tables, (2) the dancers’ exaggerated, disjointed movements, (3) the filmic editing through juxtaposing cuts, and (4) the close-ups for intimacy and deterritorialization. By more prominently integrating Forsythe's deconstructive aesthetic, De Mey creates an enhanced otherworld through the medium of screendance that is not possible to achieve with live dance.
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