I am very proud to be able to share our stage with other contemporary New York City dance artists, who will be included in our "moving set" video.  Here Paradigm's Director & Choreographer, Gus Solomons jr plays two roles at once (the fictional "Mayor," and the real Gus, wearing his "hat" as a dance critic). -- Felice Lesser



SmithMicro generously donated its animation software ANIME PRO to our company for this project. Here is an example of how I'm using it to create a backdrop and combining it with Life Forms. The red and purple shapes transform from rectangles to triangles and from circles to crescents.  Some rotate as well. Meanwhile the white-colored Life Forms dancers in the center perform their inhuman feats on top of the moving shapes. -- Felice Lesser



In addition to computer animation, video will also play a prominent part in the "moving set."  This will allow us to use realistic settings (a parking garage, a space shuttle launch, a limousine) in the work.  So if you're curious to find out what dogs and squirrels are doing in a dance piece, please come to our performances! -- Felice Lesser


A look at the text of FUNDING THE ARTS

In addition to live dance and projected animation, Funding the Arts will also include dialogue to help tell its story.  Being that the live performers will "interact" with cartoon characters throughout the work, I've written the text in a combination of stage and screenplay formats to accommodate both going on simultaneously. So that everything will come together on the stage at the right time, the dialogue will be prerecorded along with the musical score using Final Cut Studio. The following short excerpt shows how a live dancer (KEVIN), and a cartoon character (EDGAR) will appear to interact. (Although it's difficult to see on this Blog page, the live characters are written in Plain Text, the screen characters in BOLDFACE to avoid confusion.) -- Felice Lesser            


                           (quietly, reading LU's note)  

 "Are you still working for that idiot?   Sorry we missed you. Love, Lu." 

                            (to Edgar) 

Nothing sir.


                  I'm sure Lucinda and Robin were involved.

                  I can feel it. I'll get those traitors if it's the last thing I do.


© 2009 Felice Lesser, All Rights Reserved


How Life Forms Will Be Used in FUNDING THE ARTS

In keeping with the idea of making FUNDING THE ARTS a "living cartoon," here a comic book bubble made with Motion is inserted into a Life Forms animation.  Once again, the dancer's "tutu" is actually a few other Life Forms dancers crumpled up into balls. 

This will be the backdrop for a scene in which a ballet class is taking place on the stage of a theater.  Dancers in the foreground are doing a combination, while those in the background are watching, or adjusting their shoes, or whispering to each other.  These Life Forms dancers are what we'll use when we need to supplement our live cast, making it look as if a huge company is on the stage. 

Not ruled by the laws of nature, or by the physical limitations of the human body, cartoons let us imagine and play. We can paint them any color, contort their bodies into inhuman shapes, have them pirouette endlessly, and throw them off buildings or blow them up in an explosion, only to have them come back alive in seconds. While nothing can take the place of human beings, cartoon/animated characters will certainly have their place in FUNDING THE ARTS -- supplementing our live, onstage, performers.

Here you'll see a snapshot of how the "dancers" of Life Forms will be combined with a painted background from Final Cut Studio's Motion in a parody of the "wilis" from Giselle.  In the second frame, the "tutus" open up and become other dancers.

 This is a snapshot of one of the animated Life Forms ballets within the work. We will also add Anime Pro to the mix. -- Felice Lesser