Dance Performance Photography – Caught at LangLab

Reiterated confession: I’m a live performance & visual media junkie.

The anticipation, nervous energy before the stage comes to life, and one-shot no retakes atmosphere gets my creativity charged up. I absolutely love the countdown to go time. Troubleshooting in a pinch to make it work and look flawless. Fast paced action all around! (These all translate just fine to wedding photography moments too… but that’s another post.)

Caught performance at LangLab December 2010

Earlier this month I joined the production of Caught – a senior thesis turned full out dance production by Hannabeth Fischer. A brief excerpt from the show’s event page goes like this:

Artistically acclaimed “mesmerizing”, “enthralling”, and “beautiful the whole way through,” Caught is up for it’s second run in South Bend, IN. Choreography and film: Hannahbeth Fischer. After a highly successful debut at Saint Mary’s College in November, Caught has grown. Adding two musicians to the original sound artist, Patrick Quigley, the Analecta trio is complete. Analecta is a group of rising local musicians: indie, progressive, classical. http://www.myspace.com/analectaband

Experience a cross-platform performance with digital film and dance, playing on the borders of Dance Theater. Live sound engulfs the entire audience, the entire building. This performance, while beautiful on camera, cannot be experienced anywhere but live. Fischer’s statements about movement, duality, tension, architecture, desire, and interaction permeate the multiple channels.

Audience members should look forward to an exciting new space at LangLab. The truly unique space, conducive to incubation and artist musings, will shock many that it exists in South Bend.

Fischer shot some of the film for the projection in the space, adding a unique parallelism to this run of the piece. This is LangLab’s first full length dance performance. Neither South Bend nor LL have experienced a full kinesphere performance such as Caught, and should make it out to LangLab on December 10. Fischer and collaborators welcome conversation in the post-show hang time.

Aside from the usual available light performance photography I also worked with a great crew to provide video and multitrack audio recording for the performance portfolio DVD project. This was a first to go a huge step past mics-mixer-camera to allow for precise audio postproduction mixing of the single-take recording. Translation: geeking out.

Caught LangLab Dance Photography

Shots made with Nikon D700 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 lens in existing light / video projection.

Technical challenges outside of the recording side included adapting a theatrical stage performance at Saint Mary’s College to the LangLab warehouse art venue (very cool feel!). Full theatrical lighting and dimming control was simplified to fit the intimate space. I do enjoy a good brainstorm and improvisation!

Congrats Hannabeth and the cast of Caught on a wonderful 2nd performance! Glad to have been part of it!

 

UPDATE! Jan 2011 – Check out the LIVE recording album the band made from the audio tracks from the show.

the Rendition – March 7th debut

In addition to our Gallery Debut this weekend, Saturday night will also be a night of firsts for our friends The Rendition. This weekend brings their first show with the new band name, new music, and we’re thrilled to share the spotlight of “debut weekend” with Jess, Jess and Aaron!

From their announcement March 1st:

The Jess Strantz Band has been together for about ten months now. Originally formed around acoustic artist, Jess Strantz, who has successfully been stirring coffee shops and local venues solo for at least seven years now. She has incredible song writing ability, a voice that cannot be matched, and pure God given talent on guitar and piano.

With the addition of Aaron Busenbark on drums, keys, and percussion, the solo project began to take a turn in style. The duo brought in long time friend, Jess Stacy for bass guitar and synth.

As you can imagine, these changes have adapted the style and the band has “decided to sing a new song…” and taken the new name as of March 1st: The Rendition.

Aaron and the cymbal jungle

the Rendition band, now Von Strantz - Aaron and the cymbal jungle

Jess and the 5 string

then The Rendition now Von Strantz - Jess and the 5 string

Jess on keys / tambourine

then The Rendition now Von Strantz - Jess on keys, tambourine

Aaron and the bells

then The Rendition now Von Strantz - Aaron and bells

The magical practice room (featuring Jason on keys)

then The Rendition now Von Strantz - magical rehearsal room

Songs and shadows

then The Rendition now Von Strantz -

then The Rendition now Von Strantz - jam

One lovely eve with the Ugly Mugs

Some GREAT music tonight from Jess Strantz, Elliot Evans, Oh Donahue, and Etna Green. I met some photographer, visual and musical artist friends there for a nice time relaxing and NOT running a show like last weekend’s show at the Underground Cafe. It’s a nice perspective and a huge relaxation when it’s well mixed and illuminated and my event ADHD doesn’t feel the need to help tune things up. Two thumbs up to the Ugly Mugs crew who put together tonight’s show!

I was seriously surprised by the well-planned stage and performance setup at Ugly Mugs. Talking with Devin, the assistant events coordinator, he told me the place was planned out by musicians so it would look and sound great. It did both for all who played from the stage. From both a photographer AND a concert production director’s perspective… HUGE A+ to you guys for that effort up front.

I didn’t snap many photos but I love hearing live music, checking out new places, and shooting ambient light for practice. (The 85mm lens is going to be seeing a lot of snaps at tomorrow’s wedding!)

Etna Green at Ugly Mugs Cafe

Etna Green at Ugly Mugs, South Bend, Indiana

Reflection in Triptych

Good night and GREAT job to the talent that performed tonight! It was worth working on tax paperwork all afternoon with 70˚ temps outside just to “finish my homework” and get out to hear you all play.