The DVD consists of the PhD thesis of Lila Moore including a link to her YouTube channel listing films and artists mentioned and discussed in the thesis. Also on the DVD: a dance on film, Gaia – Mysterious Rhythms
Disc 1: The Thesis:
Lila Moore claims the autonomy of dance on screen as a hybrid art form, a form which like other creative forms, such as painting, sculpture or even dance, has its own particular aesthetic qualities and limits. The thesis proposes that dance as a live form ceases to exist in the process of its recreation as a screen form. The argument about dance on screen is based not within the context of contemporary live dance, but within the contexts of film/video, screen choreography and performance, including performative texts and art as performance engaging both artists and viewers. To locate dance on screen in a contemporary framework, Lila Moore refers to central developments issuing from the television series Dance for the Camera produced by BBC2 & the Arts Council and the IMZ/Dance Screen international festivals. She approaches choreography in screen terms thereby referring to the expression of movement in the broader sense, including performance, body language, the motion of objects and natural events, and rhythms and movements created via film/video technology. The moving body on the screen is also utilised for the expression of mythical journeys as in Gaia.
Overall, this thesis demonstrates that dance on screen, originating from the contexts of modern and postmodern art and culture, constitutes a unique art form and phenomenon reflecting current concerns with the notions of hybridity and performance.
Bonus essay: Ritual in Transfigured Time - A Film by Maya Deren
Essay by Lila Moore, M.Phil/PhD research, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, 1991/2, 2012 (updated in 2012)
Synopsis: The essay tackles Deren's standpoint as a female avant-garde film-maker, and her approach to the portrayal of feminine experience in Ritual in Transfigured Time. It outlines Deren's interest in ritualistic dance, modern dance, and her special treatment of dance as it is created by film.
Disc 2 The Film
Gaia – Mysterious Rhythms is a dance-ritual performed by a young woman on the seashore. The dance unfolds a rite of passage, and a process of transformation, through the woman's interaction with the elements of the natural environment; the rhythms and features of the earth, sea, moon and sun. In formal terms, Gaia was set out to explore the notion of screen choreography through a subtle, poetic and reflective, interplay of images of the body and the environment. In terms of content, the woman's performance is perceived as a source of metaphoric and archetypal imagery that highlights the intricate relationship between body, psyche, and the world.
Gaia was made as part of a practice-based PhD in Dance on Screen, Middlesex University, UK, 2001. The PhD thesis includes a chapter with an in-depth analysis of the film.