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Posted on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Peter Sparling to host screening of video dance works

By Staff

University of Michigan Thurnau Professor of Dance Peter Sparling screens a selection of his dance works made specifically for video in a program on Wednesday.

As a professional dancer/choreographer, Sparling has made more than 130 works for stages all over the world. During his decade-long foray into screendance, he has rendered a newly embodied kinesthetic power, depth and movement poetics for the flat screen. His challenge has been to discover and make artistic sense of those effects that could never be generated in live performance.

The screening draws from a range of works, including a newly edited series created during a recent residency in Paris, and a sneak preview of "Water Alchemies," a montage made for four screens of Ernestine Ruben’s surrealistic photographs of the male nude figure taken underwater, to be projected on four walls of art galleries in Philadelphia and France. He will also preview "Inner Landscapes," a video commissioned by the Martha Graham Dance Company to be screened for its 2012 season at the Joyce Theater in NYC that contextualizes Graham’s work created in the 1940s with the popularization of psychoanalysis during that decade on film and in the media.

Recently screened at festivals in New York and Lisbon, "Devant & Derrière" reveal different facings of the male figure to the camera’s gaze and combine video self-portraiture with a touch of vaudeville and Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies. "Variations and Apotheosis," from his made-for-television Climbing Sainte-Victoire, features a commissioned score by local composer/performer and recent Kresge Artist Fellowship winner Frank Pahl.

Sparling will introduce the screening and provide comments throughout the evening.

The screening takes place Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Video Studio, Digital Media Commons, Duderstadt Center, 2281 Bonisteel Blvd on the U-M North Campus. Admission is free. For more information: