On Friday night I went to the Museum of Natural History to see the new Bjork video. Thanks to the Misnomer Blog on Great Dance for the heads up. We had to wait in line outside for nearly 45 minutes because they ended up having a much greater showing than expected and had to figure out how they were going to accommodate us all. Once we got inside the organizer said he didn’t realize so many people even knew about it. Apparently a lot of people read Great Dance 😀 I was one of the last people allowed inside and I got there over 1/2 hour early.
On our way in, they handed us the 3D glasses. After the first showing of the 8-minute video, the filmmakers showed some slides — also in 3D — and held a Q&A. Bjork was in attendance — a surprise; no one seemed to have seen her in the audience, but after an audience member asked one of the filmmakers what it was like to work with her, she came up and gave her sincere thanks to everyone. I also spotted Chris Elam, director of Misnomer Dance Theater (which I’ve written about here), in the audience, as well as the dancer from his troupe who was featured in the video. Since they don’t have dancer headshots on their website, I don’t know her name, but if you’re familiar with the group, she’s the smallish dancer with short, brown hair.
The reason I was interested in the video was Misnomer’s involvement — Elam choreographed the dance sequences. Unfortunately there weren’t as many of those as I was hoping for; one of the filmmakers explained that they had to be cut because they were too difficult to film. But you could easily see Elam’s influence in the video. As Bjork journeys down a stringy Himalayan river atop a big yak with friendly blinking eyes, a pair of arms and legs slowly grows from Bjork’s backpack, and she kind of gives birth to this alternate identity, which the Misnomer dancer embodies. The dancer breezes along atop Bjork, riding piggyback for a while, at first tiny, wiry-limbed and childlike. But the two soon begin to struggle with each other, culminating in a tumbling sequence where she and Bjork sommersault over each other repeatedly, at times looking like some kind of exotic creature. When asked where he got the idea for that sequence, the filmmaker said from watching some Swing dancers screwing around, which cracked me up. They should have had Elam speak a bit.
The filmmakers said they plan to show the video via analog on the internet, and in movie theaters at the beginning of select 3D films.