Whole Grain: Choreocinema of Maya Deren

A black and white still of a male dancer posing among trees.
Film still from Maya Deren’s Study in Choreography for the Camera, 1945

Join us Wednesday, November 20, at 7:00 pm, for the screening of four of Maya Deren’s films which blend the process of choreography and filmmaking, forming her unique aesthetic of ‘choreocinema’. Often treading the line between narrative and abstract forms, these films projected in 16mm reflect Deren’s continuous fascination with motion and showcase how consideration of choreography and cinematic direction inform and shape these movements. After the screening, Skidmore dance professor Debra J. Fernandez will lead a discussion on the films and Deren’s career in relation to dance.

Study in Choreography for the Camera (Deren, 1945, 16mm, 3 min)
Ritual In Transfigured Time (Deren, 1946, 16mm, 15 min)
Meditation on Violence (Deren, 1948, 16mm, 13 min)
The Very Eye of Night (Deren, 1959, 16mm, 15 min)

About the Artist

Maya Deren (born April 29, 1917, Kiev, Ukraine—died Oct. 13, 1961, New York, NY, US) was an influential director and performer who is often called the “mother” of avant-garde filmmaking. Her films are poetic yet instructive, offering insight into the human body and mind, demonstrating the potential of film to explore these subjects. Prior to her career as a pioneering avant garde filmmaker, Deren was heavily involved in the world of dance: researching multi-cultural dance forms, authoring a children’s book about dance styles, and working as an assistant to the Katherine Dunham Company, the first African-American modern dance company.

About Whole Grain

The Tang Teaching Museum’s series Whole Grain explores classic and contemporary work in experimental film and video.

Whole Grain is programmed by Assistant Director for Engagement Tom Yoshikami. All events are free and open to the public.

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