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Motion Studies

Launching the OCPAC dance season with fireworks — well, freeze-framed fireworks — it’s the return 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 capture 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, ABT’s Herman Cornejo to do a double turn in the air plus 28 more dancers on display. Projected in ultra-slow-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. The original was projected onto the State Theater at New York's Lincoln Center. Last year, L.A.'s Music Center projected the images onto giant screens encircling the plaza. Orange County is projecting the images onto the side of the theater from dusk until midnight. This unusual perspective on 30 international dancers as they have never been seen before is absolutely fascinating and it is free.
Oct. 1-12, 7 p.m.-midnight, 2008


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