Moving Targets 

David Michalek’s Slow Dancing

Wednesday, Sep 19 2007

Launching the Music Center’s fifth dance season with fireworks — well, freeze-frame fireworks — it’s the West Coast premiere of video artist David Michalek’s Slow Dancing: mesmerizing giant slow-motion video images of dancers that include luminaries from ballet and modern dance, as well as hip-hop artists, tappers and classical dancers from around the world.

Watching his wife, who also happens to be New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan, Michalek wanted a way to photograph dance that displayed details that escape the naked eye. Armed with equipment previously used to film and slow down motion in ballistic tests, Michalek turned the camera on dancers. Five seconds may seem short, but it’s enough time for hip-hop’s Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio to toss off a trick or two and ABT’s Herman Cornejo to do a double turn in the air — to name two of the 30 dancers on display. Projected in ultraslow motion, the captured five seconds of real-time movement unfolds over 10 minutes, revealing every nuanced muscle ripple, drawing the viewer into the details of how dancers move and how movement differs in different types of dance. With giant screens encircling the Music Center Plaza’s fountain, the free evening event promises an unusual perspective on dance. Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; 6 p.m.-mid., nightly thru Sept. 26; free. (213) 972-0711.

—Ann Haskins

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