Donnerstag, 16. April 2020, 20:00 Uhr, Saal, Altes Theater
Play Session: Frenzy – How to jazz up jazz by dance and film
Ein Format von und mit Prof. Dr. Holger Lund
Lecture based on a joint paper by Cornelia Lund and Holger Lund on Roger Tilton’s documentary “Jazz Dance” (1954), developed for the Documenting Jazz 2020 conference in Birmingham
In the history of documenting music, Roger Tilton’s short film “Jazz Dance” (1954) is an outstanding experimental approach to early direct cinema. Filmed at Central Plaza Dance Hall, New York City, this film, one could argue, turns jazz into film by specific documentary means and by establishing certain relations between the musicians, the music and the dancers through cameras, lights, and means of post-production such as cutting and editing. The genuinely audio-visual, non-staged, multi-angled recording was new at the time and opened up new ways of capturing what happened between the participants of the event as well as it was capable of placing the spectators of the film among these participants.
In our paper, we would like to discuss the means and techniques used by Tilton and his collaborators, their power to let the spectator feel the spirit and the energy of hot jazz in the medium of film, making the film jazz itself by transferring the musical language of jazz into an adequate audio-visual, filmic language.
Furthermore, we will discuss Tilton’s film in relation to other approaches to film jazz music, to situate it in the wider context of audio-visual productions practices relating music, film, and dance pushed to a peak of frenzy.