2011 / 13 min / HD / Stereo
Directed by Michael Langan & Terah Maher
A chorus of women are borne from the movements
of a single dancer in this dreamlike pas de trente-deux.
In the tradition of Marey and McLaren, Michael Langan and Terah Maher combine music, dance, and image multiplication to create a film that enhances our perception of motion. "Choros" delivers a visually mesmerizing narrative in three movements, following a dancer's (Maher) experience of discovery, euphoria, and rebirth through this surreal phenomenon. Featuring music from Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians."
"Comme «Pas de Deux»
à son époque, «Choros» veut contribuer
à l'innovation cinématographique et marquer
une nouvelle étape. Cette expérience visuelle
et narrative envoûtante ouvre la voie à d'autres
tentatives de faire vivre autrement le corps à l'écran."
"Choros intéresse donc dans sa proposition − au-delà de ﬁlmer la danse − de 'ﬁlmer la musique' elle-même, d'associer à tel corps, objet ou geste telle sonorité, tel instrument."
"Spellbinding and uplifting... a reminder that
dance, music, and indeed, cinema can sometimes transcend words
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Like 'Pas de Deux' in its time, 'Choros' contributes
to cinematic innovation and marks a new milestone. This spellbinding
narrative and visual experience paves the way for further
attempts to bring life to the body on-screen."
"Choros pursues the proposition − beyond filming the dance − of filming the music itself, through the transformation of the body, object or gesture into sound, into instrument."
"Pulsating, hypnotic, and flat out lovely to watch."
AS SEEN ON
Short of the Week / Vimeo Staff Picks / Motionographer
BOOOOOOOM! / Fubiz / The Curious Brain / Colossal
ABOUT THE TECHNIQUE
"Choros" is an experimental film steeped in tradition, modernizing a visual echo technique developed for scientific study in the 1880s.
In the late nineteenth century, a photographic technique called "chronophotography" began to develop, whereby multiple photographs would be taken in rapid succession to study the movement of a given subject. Eadweard Muybridge famously filmed a horse in motion in 1878, providing the world with its first taste of motion pictures when the images were displayed on a spinning zoetrope.
Several years later, the French physicist Etienne-Jules Marey developed a stunning variation of this technique when he captured multiple poses of a subject over time onto a single frame of film, rendering a kind of visual echo. The nature of this process limited the subject matter to that which could be photographed in a black studio using stark lighting, to prevent overexposure of the background when multiple images are layered over one another.
In 1968, just six years before Steve Reich began composing "Music for 18 Musicians," Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren adapted Marey's layering technique to actual motion pictures, in a groundbreaking film entitled "Pas de Deux." The additive nature of multiple exposures in chemically processed photography, however, likewise limited McLaren to the confines of a black box studio with high-contrast side lighting.
"Choros" revisits these technical innovations and attempts to contribute original innovations of its own. Using recent advancements in digital compositing, the technique developed for "Choros" introduces color, frees the film from the confines of a black studio, and allows the dancer to linger in one position without risk of overexposure, resulting in a variation of this historical technique that allows a degree of subtlety heretofore prohibited by technical limitations.
Coup de Coeur, Silhouette Film Festival / France
Second Prize, Independent Animation, ASIFA-SF Festival / USA
Museum of Contemporary Art / Taiwan
Short & Sweet / South Africa
Dance on Camera Festival / USA
Strange Beauty Film Festival / USA
Cinedans / The Netherlands
Martha's Vineyard Film Festival / USA
Vertical Floor Film Festival / Sweden
Conclave / UK
Dance@30FPS / USA
TELUS Spark Science Center / Canada
Northwest Animation Festival / USA
Athens Video Art Festival / Greece
Uppsala International Sacred Music Film Festival / Sweden
International Melzo File Festival / Italy
Aberystwyth Arts Centre / Wales
ASIFA-SF Spring Festival / USA
Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival / France / World Premiere
Clermont-Ferrand Highlights at Balagan / USA
Clermont-Ferrand Highlights at 92Y Tribeca / USA
Clermont-Ferrand Highlights at Muscate / Oman
Institute of Contemporary Art Boston / USA
Mecal International Short Film Festival / Spain
Tabakalera / Spain
Tiburon International Film Festival / USA
Athens International Film Festival / USA
Maryland Film Festival / USA
Experimental Film Festival Portland / USA
Rooftop Films / USA
Woods Hole Film Festival / USA
Guanajuato International Film Festival / Mexico
Topanga Film Festival / USA
ADF Screendance / USA
Le Cabaret Vert / France
One Reel Film Festival / USA
Sidewalk Film Festival / USA
Festival a Nous de Voir / France
Ottawa International Animation Festival / Canada
Beijing New Youth Film Festival / China
Silhouette Film Festival / France / Winner, Coup de Coeur Prix
Lille International Short Film Festival / France
INVIDEO / Italy
Australian Cinematheque / Australia
Short Shorts Film Festival / Mexico
Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival / USA
Ravenswood International Film Festival / USA
Cucalorus Film Festival / USA
Ozu Film Festival / Italy
Court C'est Court! / France
Next Dance Cinema / USA
Centre National de la Danse / France