CAUGHT IN THE CHAMBER, 7min., USA, Dance
Directed by Nathan Johnson
Screendance with original score by composer Andrew Norman, performed by yMusic.
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Nathan Johnson is a multidisciplinary artist best known for his work as a film composer and director. His innovative music (acclaimed scores for Looper and Brick, among others) and short films (lauded videos for Son Lux and Lucius) consistently blur the lines between stage, screen, and audio-visual narrative. He has given talks at universities around the world and has presented his work at the Hammer Museum, Adobe MAX, and Apple.
Johnson is the recipient of numerous film and music awards, and his work has been featured extensively by NPR, Wired, the AV Club, and Rolling Stone. When he is not creating music or videos, he works as an art director with The Made Shop, a boutique design firm that specializes in graphic and architectural projects.
He lives in Los Angeles.
Choreographer & USC Kaufman School of Dance faculty member Jennifer McQuiston Lott worked with director Nathan Johnson to create this film as a “chamber music video” for chamber ensemble yMusic and composer Andrew Norman. The film previewed accompanied live by yMusic on April 4, 2018, at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.
A note from Jennifer McQuiston Lott:
I worked with director Nathan Johnson, composer Andrew Norman, chamber ensemble yMusic & dancers (my students) from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance to create this short dance-for-camera. Our goal was to create a dance that could accompany a chamber music performance into any intimate space. yMusic played the score live for the initial screening at USC (April 4, 2018). They can now take this film into virtually any venue where they might perform this piece of music; places where live dance can’t always go. And, hopefully, it will reach audiences that concert dance doesn’t always reach.
The dance was filmed in one take using a Steadicam. I see it as a hybrid of stage and filmed performance. The film is as much about what is happening offscreen as onscreen, because all performers, even the Steadicam operator, had choreography throughout the duration of the take in order to be offscreen when called for; the “flaws” and immediacy of liveness, and closeness, are there.
It is also a tribute to a very special community, time and place. The USC Kaufman School, founded as a place to wildly imagine and invent the future of dance, is in its infancy. This film includes some of our very first students, who will graduate this year. They are a special tribe of tenacious, inquisitive, unique and imaginative young people, and they make me hopeful for the future of my art form and our world.
I hope you enjoy the film.
Read more about this unique collaboration here: