Scene on Campus

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Very, very, very slow dancing.

Christopher Capozziello

Christopher Capozziello

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The title of this gigantic film installation, which played on 24-foot-high screens on Cross Campus for several evenings in early September, is Slow Dancing. But that’s an understatement. Dancing consists of 43 video portraits, shot with a high-speed, high-definition camera that recorded several thousand frames per second (versus 30 frames for standard film), thereby extending five seconds of dancing by each performer into mesmerizing ten-minute videos. What looks at first like a huge still photograph—of, say, a man spinning on his head, or a man on crutches flinging his legs into the air—gradually melts into dance, while the hyper-slow pace magnifies the dancer’s gestures, musculature, and technique.

Slow Dancing was created by former Yale guest lecturer David Michalek; New Haven was the 29th city to host it (sponsored by Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, with support from the Beinecke). “I’m really excited about it,” said Richard Liverano, a first-year School of Music student who helped staff the display. “It’s creating a work of art out of a work of art. It’s creating something new.”

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