Zero Confused - Mauro Astolfi - The Arts Umbrella Senior CompanySunday, May 24, 2015
After having gone to many rehearsals, a dress rehearsal and two Season Finales of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company this May my two favourite pieces were James Kudelka’s Study for a Dance in the Future and Mauro Astolfi’s Zero Confused. Neither of these works was happy and if anything they were about the alienation that we now feel in a world that is supposed to be connected. Another favourite was Connor Gnam’s Blank Page Syndrome which was full of humour and whimsy. It lifted my spirits.
While I have taken quite a few pictures in the last few weeks this will be my last blog on the Season Finale. I wrote about Kudelka’s and Gnam’s works here and here. This one is about Zero Confused which I saw many times in rehearsal and in which every case I had to hold back tears.
I must apologize for the poor quality of my photographs. I have been using a Fuji X-E1 digital camera which is a marvel at the high ISO speeds I have been using it (800 ISO for colour and 3200 ISO for b+w). The limitation of my camera is that it is not instantly responsive to peak movement. I will need to upgrade to a better model. Of primary importance in dance photography is to know when that peak movement will occur. This is not a problem for me as I have a good memory for a performance I have seen more than once so I can predict when the peak will happen. When it happens movement is stopped and it is at its most graceful. One does not need a fast shutter speed to get peak movement. But a camera must be responsive to the photographer’s shutter pressing without delay. Sadly my Fuji meanders as it focuses around in a dark dance studio. What you see here are the best of the possibilities with generous luck.
I want to thank the Arts Umbrella Dance Company, Artemis Gordon and Lynn Sheppard for allowing me to skulk in corners with my camera and to display such trust in this amateur dance photographer. In spite of all my excuses for my almost failures I cannot help to notice how the dancers of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company shine in spite of them. To them I give them my special thanks and wish them the best in their dance future.