Part documentary, part teaser, and part short dance film, Yaniv Cohen’s film for Alan Lucien Oyen’s dance work entitled Fiction is at once strange, unsettling, and extremely clever.
Beginning with voice over dictating words that emerge as typed on screen in screenplay form (accompanied by the sound of typewriter keys tapping), this short morphs from being a sort of explanation of process that includes interviews with the work’s choreographer/creator himself, then becomes a glimpse into his process in action, and finally succeeds as beautifully capturing in performance, passages from the dance work itself. In any case, this teaser stands out as yet another example of an extremely stylish and savvy if not a slightly complex piece of marketing for Carte Blanche, Norway’s National Company of Contemporary Dance.
Film/video maker Yaniv Cohen seems to do most of their promo videos – all very well done and clearly intended as advertisements for their new stage works. But in this process he has also created a kind of successful branding for the company that takes full advantage of both the power of dance on film and of the web. While I know that when looking to book dance most presenters are interested in seeing full works without undue interruptions or too many cuts and/or fancy editing, I doubt that the same rule holds true for pulling in a potential audience. Of course I personally am always interested in both the way dance is used for marketing, and the way it is captured on film.
In this piece, while I enjoy the beginning, I especially love the ending when the explaining stops and it flows into dance that moves in and out of black. A former dancer with the company, Fiction’s talented creator Oyen is described as moving “within a universe of multimedia, inspired by popular culture, documentary material and a variety of art forms”. If that is the case, this teaser does his work and its content justice.