“We have the care to get everyone, because, if that moment was built by all the people, it is only fair that all of them are in the video.”
The Lindy Hop, after all, is considered “the happiest dance in the world.” The happiness of being in the same space, of sharing the dances, the songs and the experience. A dance competition is, above all, a celebration. A moment of exchange between who is there to talk and to share experiences.
And how to capture all that in video and produce material that is interesting to the Lindy Hop scene?
The collective Tools, created by Renato Lopes and Mari Turco, makes professional video records of the All Skate, Lindy Hop competition event in Brazil, since its first edition in 2015. The group facilitates artistic and scenic works for their partners, having as one of their specialties the audiovisual recording of dancing.
Renato engaged intensively with Lindy Hop during 10 years, however started dancing Lindy Hop only in early 2015, a few months before the All Skate. Because he understood the importance of video for dance companies, dancers and everyone related to the art, Tools bartered with the organizers: the filmmakers would do all the recordings and content production and in exchange, they would have classes with the Lindy Hop teachers. It was the opportunity to help the scene grow.
“It was a very different experience, because we were filming a competition of a dance with which we had had contact to for four months. We used this opportunity to understand better how this dance worked. And our relationship with the Lindy grew.”
The All Skate is the pioneering Lindy Hop competition in Brazil. To understand the processes and guarantee the quality of the records, Renato studied the event in advance: he participated in meetings with the organizers to understand the structure, the schedule, the positioning of the cameras, the developing of the modalities. He noticed it would be paramount to watch all the dances, participate actively in the event, interact with the camera along with the people.
Renato says his roles of audiovisual producer and dancer got mixed along the way: “I remember being dancing and thinking: ‘I think the camera in that position does not capture here where I am. And we could move people from that corner to gain more space and be able to shoot better.’”
The event is recorded in full: all presentations, the dances, the competitions, the band, the awards. The recordings turn into different videos. But one of the main products is the teaser: a summary of everything that happened that year. It is essential to promote the event. After finalized, the videos go to a YouTube channel, since the Internet is a strategic means to reach the public.
“From one year to the next, everything changes. The perception about movement gets better, the rhythmic, the functioning of the dance, the displacement of the people, the glances. There is investment in equipment and the maturity in the dance and in the work with video. The portfolio increases: references and sources of inspiration. The previous knowledge makes the access easier and contributes to better recordings.”
In the link below, the teaser of 2016, where Renato comments about the impact of such recordings to the people who participated in the All Skate and also to who did not. He also tells how the experience helped in the dance and in the career of audiovisual producer.
“We created a result; it is the people who practice this dance sharing videos, where they competed, participated, and these videos get to other people and get them curious about this culture to come and be part of it.”
Colaboração/revisão: Sarah Quines