One of today’s popular dance film techniques is to show the same choreography in multiple settings, as the viewer switches seamlessly among them. It’s a simple camera trick, but each site lends its own tone to the performance and draws out different nuances of the choreography. And if it’s done well, the location changes create an original story that doesn’t exist in the movement alone.
In Shift, a new film directed by Patrick Ryder and London-based choreographer Del Mak, the dancer (Renako McDonald) is aware of the location changes and even seems to be intentionally teleporting away from the drudgery of his desk job to dance in a park, on a plaza and in the shadows of city landmarks.
In Cylindrical Shadows, featuring dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet, the location changes are more abstract, used to create a mood that fluctuates between the melancholy of dusty railroad tracks and the tranquility of shady gardens.