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Wayne McGregor|Random Dance - Entity

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I just rented the HD version, and it was the first thing I watched in the new year! :) I wish we could purchase the HD version --- is it coming out on BluRay or some other HD platform in the future?

I saw the company perform this piece at Whitebird in Portland, Oregon last year a couple of times, and before I saw this film, I didn't think this was one of Wayne's better pieces, but after seeing the film I've changed my mind. Perhaps the third time's the charm, or the camera helps focus attention on certain things or clarifies things. Whatever it is, it is worth watching if you have seen any of his pieces set on ballet companies. Entity is sort of the next step forward in his style of movement. You still see his usual vocabulary: the tilted forward pelvis, the head jutting out, the Gumby-like movement, and the ambition of design and lighting. But there's also a variety of rhythm and movement speeds that his company really brings out, and surprisingly this adds to the emotional intensity of the movements. Someone above commented that his dancers aren't allowed to smile, and most of the time they have neutral faces or even a sort of intense grimace, but what surprised me was how he could project different emotional feelings just based on varying the speed of the various movements. It will be interesting to see him move this to ballet dancers.

Another thing that's may be of interest to the resident bunheads is how classically trained his dancers are and how much of his vocabulary is ballet-based. I asked them if this was a newly-found thing after he worked with ballet companies, and they said he'd always liked that kind of dancer from the beginning.

Anyway, it's worth a rental, and it's only an hour long, so give it a try!


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I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm curious to know what your impressions were of the capture itself, as compared to the live experience. We're making a concerted effort to bring in captures that we think have superior direction, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Also - did you watch it on your computer, or did you watch it on an iPad/AppleTV

The HD version should/is supposed to be purchasable, but for reasons unknown, it isn't. I'll hopefully have an answer/fix next week. We're not going to do a physical HD release, but we are going to be making it available on other digital platforms (eg. Amazon, CinemaNow, Blockbuster, Vudu).

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Thanks for looking into it. When I saw it, I was on the main floor (albeit in a small theater), and didn't realize there were all the golden ratio designs projected on the floor until afterwards, so the video definitely shows that off well. One thing the video doesn't do as well is immerse you in all of the projections on the 3 movable things on the sides and back, but in return, the video does get you closer to the dancers and the choreography because the focus is on them. One question: towards the end, there's a pas, and there's a longish cut away to a headshot of one of the dancers waiting to go. He wasn't doing anything, and we missed many parts of the pas because of it. I'm guessing that was probably out of your control?

A great example of film really bringing choreography to life (for me at least) is the film of Forsythe's One Flat Thing Reproduced. You can find it on Youtube in 3 parts. I remembered seeing that live for the first time and being utterly confused, but after seeing the film, it made a lot more sense.

I watched the HD version on my 1st gen Apple TV. My iPhone 4 and iPad showed the rental of the HD version, but the iTunes on my computer did not. It only showed me the SD rental and purchase options, though there was a note on the bottom that said HD versions were available on iPhone and AppleTV.

As long as the HD version is available for purchase, I don't think a physical medium is necessary. Do you know if there's any interest in projecting this in movie theaters like the Met Opera or Royal Opera House series?


edit: one more thing I forgot. The DVD of the Forsythe piece has a 5.1-channel soundtrack, and it's great how atmospheric that makes the soundtrack as you often have sounds coming from places other than the front. That's something you generally don't get in a theater, but obviously the sound designer/composer would have to be involved with the video production for this to happen.

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Thanks for answering my questions. To answer yours: 1.) We're distributors and increasingly co-producers, but we have no say in the actual direction/edit. If there's only one or two bad editorial choices that stood out in an hour program (eg. the headshot), then that makes me pretty happy given some of the directorial disasters we've seen.

Edit: I just watched it for the first time in a long while. Assuming I'm looking at the same editing sequence (between 53-55 minutes in), the dancer on the side of the stage is part of the choreography along with the dancers performing the pas, as opposed to waiting to come on. If anything, it's just one of those difficult sequences to capture.

2.) As for cinematic distribution, that's something that we're looking at on a broader scale, although we've had no conversation regarding this title specifically. It's my hope our iTunes distribution will help develop broader audiences for more contemporary work, and thus cinema will be more of an option in the future.

In response to the 5.1 soundtrack question - that's something that is going to vary from title to title - one of the factors is what kind of music is used, as well in the environment in which it's delivered. In this case, the second part of the score is prerecorded & 5.1 mix doesn't exist. Also since it's also a live capture, the natural sound is coming from the front.

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Entity is now available for SD purchase/rent and HD rental on Amazon Video on Demand in the United States. Which means that not only can you enjoy Entity on a whole slew of new devices, such as TiVos, Roku boxes, internet connected televisions from Sony, Samsung, Vizio and Panasonic and a wide variety of portable video players, but you can also support Ballet Alert by searching and purchasing using the Amazon link at the top of the page.

We are still waiting for HD purchase availability.

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