Kaufman students to showcase cinematic choreography

From stage to screen, bachelor of fine arts students at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will showcase their choreography tailored for the camera at Video Stage Live.

As part of their BFA curriculum, 33 Kaufman students created dance pieces with their peers that, instead of being performed on a stage, will be screened in short films created by the choreographers.

“There is a different way you want to perform for an audience live and a way you can connect with them through certain types of eye contact and seeing your energy,” said Celine Kiner, a sophomore majoring in dance. “But for the camera, it’s really different. You have to be more active all the time, and you have to think about angles and lines where the camera is seeing you from.”

The four-year BFA program at the Kaufman School of Dance prepares students for careers in the dance industry. One of its specialties is exploring new mediums of dance for students to involve themselves in.

The intensive program offers a variety of classes to train students in different concentrations, including performance, choreography for stage and cinema and dance and music. These concentrations are not selected until junior or senior year. In the meantime, BFA students follow a core curriculum that provides them with a comprehensive understanding of dance as an art form.

“We basically had a foundation freshman year of a lot of technique and repertory,” Kiner said. “This semester [we’re taking] ballet technique class, contemporary, Afro-Cuban and jazz, and then we go to our academic classes in the middle of the day. We go to repertory or improv and comp during the afternoon.”

The core curriculum for BFA students includes an average of 25 hours of dance per week, as well as technique, composition, history, health and theory. One of these core classes is Introduction to Dance for the Camera: New Media and Editing.

BFA students in Kaufman enroll in this course during the second semester of their sophomore year. The student projects that will be screened in the Kaufman event were created in this class specifically.

Professor Patrick Corbin aimed to teach students how to tailor choreographic pieces to the camera. Students broke up into groups of three to five and worked throughout the semester on choreographing, filming and editing their pieces.

Though the students in the course were not film students, they received guidance from their professors on how to start. Corbin and USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Michael Patterson collaborated to give tutorials on how to use various film software, including Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Kiner’s group took these lessons from their professors to heart.

“My group particularly tried to incorporate a musical element, which I think is a huge part of comp, and we really tried to engage in a lot of multidisciplinary work,” Kiner said. “It was really eye-opening to see everyone else’s projects and how diverse they are because we are so different as a class, but we work so well as a whole.”

The screening of Video Stage Live will take place at the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Seating is limited, and reservations are required.