Chase Scene (1984-85)
A collaboration by Skura & video artist Terry Moyemont, with collaborating video artists Annette Barbier & Drew Browning, & with collaborating performer Tom Cayler. Large-screen video, both live & pre-recorded, integrates & intertwines with live performance. This work is about the relationship between cameraperson & performer, about seeing & being seen, about the juxtaposition of live performers & pictures, and about the human response to technology.
With performers Stephanie Skura, Tom Cayler (American touring), & Terry Moyemont. For European touring, Lisa Kraus played Tom Cayler's role. Original soundtrack by Guy Sherman, AKA Aural Fixation, & Frank McCarty.
Premiered at Danspace Project, New York City. Performed worldwide, including at Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY; Pyramid Art Center in Rochester, NY; University of Illinois Champagen-Urbana; American Center in Paris; Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Wales. And in a major UK tour at The Place in London; Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol; University of Warwick; Midland Group, Nottingham; Arts Centre, Hexham; St. Donates Arts Centre, Llanwit Major.
Full-length performance video (43 min)
Short excerpt (4 min)
"Artistically coherent & intellectually provocative. A sustained meditation on the conjunction of the two media - movement & video - that 'The Moving Camera' series was dedicated to exploring. The dominant image was that of Skura, a pretty woman with a full sensual face, crossing the space looking anxiously over her shoulder at a man following her....Skura cast herself as an average woman in a dress... She intensified the sexual imagery at the same time as she contemplated the role of video: a voice-over spoke of the alternate resistance to and seduction of video for choreographers. Elsewhere, Skura wondered more abstractly, 'Does the camera have judgment?' Chase Scene was successful because it had many formal elements in place: the central idea, a coherent vision, familiar techniques of narrative film & video, and a form that allowed her to roam in a landscape of both ideas & emotion." Amanda Smith, Village Voice
"Wielding an unwieldy orange frame around a hyperactive dancer, Skura outlines the problems of composing dance for video. One of Skura's talents is her ability to appear savvy without being overbearing. She offers a brilliant verbal/movement account of Michael Jackson's success in video, showing us how his flat, angular movement style, combined with his abrupt, uncluttered transitions, is especially appropriate for the video medium in its current technological state. Later, in a striking movement invention, Skura weaves & writhes under the eye of the video cameraperson, Terry Moyemont. She seems struggling to escape his view. But gradually he cages her, pinning her to the wall & zooming in, as we see on a monitor, for a close-up. the interplay between live action & video imagery is scarifying. We watch Skura transformed into a specimen. The choreography of the dancer & the video person render the ideas in a way that is thoroughly chilling." Noel Carroll, Dance Magazine.
"Video, argues Skura, is changing more than the way we look at TV. it can also affect movement & perceptions of performance. She addresses the tensions between camera, eye, & human form. The piece explores possibities with wit, and asynchronous rhythms to match the most shattered of attention spans. It is also about how editing techniques can manipulate movement -- through reverse motion, computer graphics, and a device called a camera digitizer, which creates imagery akin to live animation. 'It's a juxtaposiiton of something live & something past or pictured, 'Skura says. 'It's about the interplay between the two.' " Steve Dollar, Times-Union, Rochester, NY