by David Michalek
About the Work
About Portraits In Dramatic Time
Portraits in Dramatic Time features an array of glacially paced performances of theater artists and actors all genres and nationalities. With artists featured both singly and in groups, the piece offers a unique and secret glimpse into some of the world’s greatest performing artists. The work strives to present viewers with an eclectic list of artists both well-known and under-recognized. This work is a follow-up to Slow Dancing, which premiered at the 2007 Lincoln Center Festival, and featured a series of 45 larger-than-life, hyper-slow-motion video portraits of dancers and choreographers from around the world: slowdancingfilms.com
Portraits in Dramatic Time was shot using ultra-high speed, high-definition cameras. The Performers were given roughly 10×10 feet of space to work within. The cameras were fixed, and the live action was recorded for duration of 10 – 15 seconds depending on the scene. Within these constraints, dramatic narratives were condensed down to an essence.
Each scene-sequence of drama was crafted to provide a physical metaphor for an emotional condition. This was created through various means—determinants (the problem, plot, theme, or context of the characters and their circumstances), consequences (deliberate manifestations of feeling as gestures and expressions), moods (induced in the character and filling the scene), and involuntary emotions (internal emotional states).
The work was presented at Lincoln Center as part of the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival, utilizing the façade of the David H. Koch Theater as a media canvas, transforming the plaza into an outdoor museum and the building into a work of art. The bright images enlivened the nighttime architecture with its ever-changing tableaus.
Portraits in Dramatic Time was commissioned in 2010 by Lincoln Center and the Lincoln Center Summer Arts Festival for the newly emerging Lincoln Center Public Arts Program.gan Stanley, and additional funding from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, and ACO’s 2019 Commission Club.
First Performance: Lincoln Center Festival July 5, 2011
Describing all the elements risks ending up like a table of world flags. The experience was quite different: unifying and powerfully resonantFiona Maddocks, The Guardian
With its highly emotional, deep and truthful subject matter, the work welcomes its viewer-listeners to confront for themselves the contemporary experience of refugees.Stephanie Ann Boyd, I care if you listen