The making of a dance film: senior dancers go solo

Two seniors in the Dance Performance and Choreography program document their process as they transform their Senior Seminar projects into solo dance films from home.

Seniors in Elon’s Dance Performance and Choreography program had planned to share the stage on April 17 in the Black Box Theatre as they capped their studies with a showcase performance titled “All Things Must Pass.” But with the transition to remote learning following Spring Break, the students were forced to re-imagine how to finish the course.

Co-instructors Assistant Professor of Dance Renay Aumiller and Assistant Professor of Dance Casey Avaunt offered ideas, and the group agreed to pursue what appeared to be the most challenging option — each dancer would choreograph a solo piece and produce their own dance film.

Using tripods purchased with money they’d made fundraising and their own smartphones, they allowed themselves nearly five weeks to produce their films. On May 8, the films premiered on the Elon Dance YouTube channel for a limited run.
Isabel Ganovsky ’20 and Annie Marx ’20, both double majors in strategic communications and dance performance and choreography, documented their processes as they adapted their performances and developed their films.

In Pittsburgh, Ganovsky pushed the furniture in her family’s living room to the walls and filmed as she leapt and spun in the makeshift dance studio. In Ridgewood, New Jersey, Marx retreated into her old bedroom and filmed her explorations of movement against the sunlit walls and pressed into the tight corners.

The two recorded video diary entries and articulated the progression of their pieces — the hurdles, the ideas and the successes. In the wake of their own finished dance films, here are two videos about the paths they took to create them.

Annie Marx

Isabel Ganovsky