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Dancing on the Web
Houston Chronicle's website)
Streaming video is relatively
uncharted territory for dance Web sites. The pioneer of the moment
is New York-based videographer Dennis Diamond, whose clips of several
important premieres this season appear on danceinsider.com, a Web
site devoted to "flash reviews" available the morning after performances.
Flash videos often have
spotty lighting, and the movement isn't perfectly smooth -- but
for dance fans who can't be in New York or Durham, N.C., or the
Berkshires this summer, Diamond's 30-second clips at least give
a sense of the real work.
we can't show the whole thing," explains Paul Ben-Itzak, Dance Insider's
editor and publisher, "but it does give a visualization."
In recent weeks, Diamond
has provided a peek at the premiere of Pilobolus Dance Theater's
Tsu-ku-tsu; a collaboration with former Kodo Drummers star Lenard
Eto, at New York's Joyce Theater; and performances by Garth Fagan
Dance and RythMEK (a new company founded by former stars of the
Alvin Ailey Dance Company) from the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
in Massachusetts. Clips of the Trisha Brown, Monte/Brown, Jennifer
Muller, David Parsons and Philadanco dance companies are also viewable
on the site. The 1.3-megabyte videos require a Quicktime plug-in
(and take about four minutes to download on this writer's Macintosh).
"They're the video equivalent
of the still photos that appear in newspapers," Diamond explains.
He shoots two or three minutes' worth with a digital camera during
final dress rehearsals, edits the clip and releases it within six
The Web project grew
from another, less successful effort. Diamond received a $25,000
grant last year from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation to provide
New York's TV news organizations with video clips of six dance performances
at the Joyce Theater. He soon discovered that dance is an extremely
low priority on the TV news agenda. When danceinsider.com was launched
in February, however, it welcomed the clips -- and wanted more.
"We'd like to get more
funding to continue and expand our coverage," Diamond says. At this
point, he's still trying to convince some skeptical dance companies
that the project is aboveboard. "It's like when CNN first started
showing up at press conferences 25 years ago and nobody understood
cable," he says. Diamond's video clips can also be seen occasionally
on three other Web sites: voiceofdance.com, dancemagazine.com and
-- MOLLY GLENTZER
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