Becoming a Dance Videographer – “nohy-láb”

Until these past few weeks, I would never have considered myself a videographer. Even now, I would not call myself an expert. However, I feel that in creating “nohy-láb,” I was able to explore this medium and develop the essential skills needed to continue with it in the future. Final Cut Pro was a new frontier for me to adventure through, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed the process.

Upon receiving the assignment that we were to create a Dance Film, I can speak honestly and say that I was a bit nervous. I had always admired the way videographers and choreographers worked together to create such amazing art, but I never thought that I would be able to do the amazing things that they can. Immediately I began brainstorming, trying to devise a concept that I considered artistic, but do-able at the same time. In this brainstorming, I came up with the concept which I finally ended up pursuing: feet.

As dancers, our feet are almost our prized possessions. Though we use our bodies as a whole, our feet are where we place our weight in order to maintain balance, stability, and strength. Out of the entirety of the body, I believe that the years of stress from dance are visible through the alterations and contusions that can be found on a dancer’s feet. Although this may make them something we hide, I also believe that we should be proud of the amazing things that we can do as a result of that stress. Through the bumps and the bruises, we have gained the strength needed to create marvelous art and take on various creative tasks, all leading us to become better dancers and better people.

In my film, “nohy-láb,” I intended to parallel the dancers’ feet to their improvised movements, hence the layering which is seen throughout. I wanted to explore how our feet govern the actions of our bodies, not only through the amount that we travel, but also in inspiring the shapes that we create. There are a variety of settings used as well, in order to broaden the audience’s view of dance, which often takes place in a studio setting. On the same note, however, I also spent much time filming in a small, enclosed studio in order to bring my concept and exploration back to its origin: feet and dance.

The title is a combination of my two main heritages, Slovak and Hungarian. “Nohy” is Slovak for feet, while “Láb” is Hungarian for feet. I wanted to title my film something that related both to the concept, but also to me as an artist. I feel that in connecting this to my lineage, I was able to do so successfully. Although these are not common languages and may be puzzling to the viewer, I take pride in creating that curiosity because I feel that it parallel’s the curiosity that led me to create this film in the first place.

In regards to using Final Cut Pro, I can say that it was a bit confusing at first. There are so many different choices that can be made in using the program that it can sometimes become overwhelming. However, I think that the more I used the software, the more familiar I became and the easier it was for me to determine which functions would be useful in portraying my ideas correctly. It is similar to my first experience in using Garage Band. For example, when I first began using Garage Band, I was hopelessly confused. Yet when I used it to create the audio track for this film, I felt so much more comfortable and the process seemed so fluid. I look forward to using Final Cut Pro in the future and gaining a similar feeling.

Below is my film, “nohy-láb.” I encourage you to view it and consider how your feet move you.

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