Nicola Carter Residency

Nicola Carter Residency

Nicola Carter is in residency with Dance4 this week and writes about her new work in progress Kitchen Confidential.

I recently worked as artistic collaborator with Portuguese Choreographer Miguel Pereira in a series of residencies at Dance4 that culminated in a performance Opus 49; I wrote and performed a monologue for the performance in which I declared my habit of disco dancing in the kitchen. Realising that other people secretly dance around their kitchen too I thought that it would be an exciting idea to film people engaging in different types of dancing in their kitchen, to learn about the type of dance that they do and the reasons why they do it. 

The project, ‘Kitchen Confidential’ aims to explore the reasons why people dance, the interaction and connections between the mind, sound, music, body and space and the way that people negotiate private/public spheres. It considers the kitchen as a space for memory, ritual, socialisng, self-expression and stress release – for letting off steam!

I asked participants to re-enact the dance that they generally do in their kitchen in the manner that they would normally do it. My cinematography incorporates both still handheld and moving camera work and I experimented with how I could portray a moving body in space – to capture the nature of the dance and the character of the person dancing; the size and shape of the kitchen and the nature of the dance being performed had a huge influence on how I used my camera.

My approach is akin to cinema verité filmmaking in which events are re-enacted in a search for authenticity. My use of a moving camera aims to draw the viewers’ attention to the fact that they are not viewing something that is natural or real, another technique used by some cinema verité filmmakers.

My editing technique also seeks to subvert the idea of the ‘natural’ or objective style of filmmaking. I am very influenced in my editing style by Dziga Vertov’s ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ but I also employ choreographic techniques to shape the form of my films

During my residency at Dance4 I intend to explore with the help of Dance Artist Seraina Dejaco how I can create different performances/choreographies by projecting different combinations of films in various configurations in the space.

My aim is to choreograph public dance performances in public screen spaces from the dancing that people do in their private space: their private performances will be monumentalised into one immersive performance using several large screens and I will also create an interactive installation in which the audience will be able to seek out and view dances on small screens in a kitchen.

In the initial filming stage of the project I also interviewed the participants about their dancing, their life and the way they use their kitchen I will use the residency as an opportunity to explore how I can combine this narrative element with the film and sound/music mateial.

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