The Process

 
 

Group dances are performed by Glenn through the use of superimposition in post-production editing.







Glenn improvises movement phrases at the chateau along the Côte d'Azur.

The windows of Studio III have been recreated in their original location providing a projected background of moving clouds that references the actual architecture of the performance space.


Interactive shadowplay will appear throughout the Chevalier section. Video design creates complex relationships between numerous tracks of video and results in a curiously confusing mix of figures, silhouettes, and shadows.





The Slicelight section, a timeless exploration of the artist's inner thoughts, offers Glenn the opportunity to further explore the use of props. A rocking, moon-shaped set piece becomes essential in the section as it serves as set, prop, partner, and projection surface. Images of the "moon" in motion were projected giving the illusion of buoyantly rocking on the ocean.


Many photos which exist in the Clews' family scrapbooks were animated and projected to reference the many memories of Clews.



Mirth, the pet dove, as seen in performance.


One section of Whistling Doves features a look at many of the sculptures created by Clews. The candlesticks are from the Chateau de La Napoule and the flames were videotaped in the Department of Dance Computer Lab, then superimposed.


An image of a ghost-like figure lurks beneath the archways of the castle. Glenn was videotaped in silhouette passing in front of four pools of backlight. A series of archways was created to frame the beams of light using a photograph of a single archway from the castle. The images were then merged through superimposition.


The illusion of multiple camera shots is created through the process of digital editing. This technology has allowed Glenn to be performer, videographer, and editor. All footage from the chateau was accomplished without a crew and with only one camera.


Multiple movies have been created to visualize this portion of Chevalier. Upon completion, the multiple screens are combined to created one video.




Multiple angles of the same dance phrase were projected during the Sprite section. An infinity studio space resulted containing a total of ten unison dancing images.

 

Timeline:

Initial Inspiration
Summer 1991

Preliminary Research
(Secondary Research)
Summer 1991–Winter 1999

Media Collection/Project Design/Multimedia Experimentation
Autumn 1997–Winter 1999

John Meyer Video Residency
July 22–27, 1998

Research Travel
(Primary Research)
Summer 1998

Newport Art Museum, Redwood Library, Newport Historical Society Newport, RI
July 14–16, 1998

Le Chateau de la Napoule
Foundation Henry Clews
La Napoule, France
September 2–10, 1998

Production Period
Summer–Autumn 1998

Project Premiere
Winter 1999

Post-Production/Documentation Editing
Winter 1999



The image of Henry standing in the "Doorway to Infinity" was created through image processing. The doorway exists along the side of the Olentangy River in Columbus, the body was taken from an old family photograph of Henry at an early age, the face was taken from an image shortly before Henry's death in 1937, and the cage contains Glenn's pet dove, Myth. To suggest Glenn's transformation into the character of Clews, the composite image is cross-dissolved into an image of Glenn holding the live caged dove. Glenn then turns, walks through the tunnel, and disappears in the distance.





Clews' sculpture, The God of Humormystics, is used as a main image in the Sculptor section. Life size images of Glenn are seen dancing beneath the sculpture. Later in the same section, Glenn brings the sculpture to life while standing above the projected sculpture base.


Clews' sculpture, The Thinker, is also used within the Sculptor section although it never actually stood on the base pictured above. Movement vocabulary for this section was inspired by the sculpted shapes of the figures.






In 1998, Glenn purchased two pet doves, Myth & Mystery, in order to study movement tendencies, record sounds, and create video footage. Mystery is pictured above tending to their first chick, Mirth. Myth & Mystery, and their descendants, have since parented a number of other doves: Fairy, Sprite, Spook, Poet, Chisel, and approximately 40 other descendants. In July of 2003, an aviary was constructed in Tallahassee, FL, to house the family of doves. In 2007, the aviary was relocated across town and as of 2013 is home to around 20 descendants from the original pair.


The Whistling Doves aviary in Tallahassee, FL, in 2007.





Dove animations were created by Glenn to be projected within the performance space.

 

John Meyer Video Residency

 John Meyer, multimedia/video/dance documentation/design/arts administration specialist and personal friend of Glenn, visited Columbus from Madison, WI for five days in July 1998. His collaborative contributions in the areas of video and multimedia production greatly benefitted the project. Over thirty hours were dedicated to the shooting of video during the five day visit. The Sullivant Hall Theater was utilized as a black space and Studio III was prepared to appear as it will in January. Meyer's visit was funded in part by a Vera Blaine Special Projects Grant obtained through the OSU Department of Dance.





The Elan Vital section of Whistling Doves concludes the evening with the projection of multiple screens rising and falling to reveal glimpses of the various solos previously seen throughout the evening.



The Slicelight solo involves a moving prop which acts as a projection screen as it travels throughout the space. In order to identify the specific locations with which the projections may be coordinated with the movement of the prop many tests were conducted. The prop was placed in position, an image was projected into the space from the predetermined angle of projection, and the coordinates of the reflected surface were mapped. From these calculations the following images were created for use in the placement of animations within the projected video. The gray area is the full-screen (640x480 pixel) projection, the white area is the actual dimensions of the wall to be projected onto, and the gold area is the location of the prop at different moments within the solo.


 

Video footage taken of the doves was digitally superimposed with images of Glenn in performance.



Glenn continues to explore the use of props in the Slicelight section of Whistling Doves. The prop becomes partner, set, prop, and projection screen. This exploration on tension, balance, weight, and level is fully integrated within a projected atmosphere.