A Public Mental Note about sound

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The squeezy, squeaking sound of pointe shoes against marley. The sound of the box tapping against the hard floor underneath. The light thud as the dancers come down from a jump as if they are being lifted by the air as they come down. That’s what I miss.

I was watching a piece that had been filmed for a virtual performance today, and I kept thinking there was something missing from it. It took me half of the piece to realize that what I wanted from it was the full periphery experience. I love seeing the ballet, love that the films let me making out faces, love that I get to see different angles. I have always loved those things about any “Dance for the Camera” piece I have watched.

But what I realized was that for this virtual performance, they had overlaid the music with the video, and there was no other sound. So while the dancing was beautiful, I felt that little bit of hollowness that comes with seeing an action without hearing it, like seeing lightening without the satisfaction of hearing the thunder.

For me, art is a full sensory experience. I mean, maybe I don’t taste anything unless it’s a culinary art. When I watch a performance or go see a painting at a museum, the sight and sound, the feeling, the smell all make a difference for me. When I take a photograph, the sound my camera makes changes how I feel about the shooting experience and therefore also about the piece I produce.

This is a simple observation of taste and a public note to self on what I realize is important to me when making films.

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