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Slow Dancing

In its ongoing mission to intrigue, frighten, disgust, and provoke the Dartmouth community with high-profile displays of public art, the Hopkins Center has engaged for this week photographer David Michalek’s creation Slow Dancing. From 8:30 pm to midnight each evening for seven evenings—tonight will be the fourth—Slow Dancing, which examines dance through film, will be projected onto three large screens set up in front of the Hopkins Center.

There can be no debate on the point that Slow Dancing dusts the floor with Dartmouth’s last major installation of public “art.” (And it needed dusting.) The idea is that simultaneously on each of the screens is shown a film of a dancer in slow motion—very slow motion. Clips filmed in a few seconds of real time take minutes to play. When a clip ends on one of the screens, a clip of another dancer begins, with little fanfare. There are 46 such clips, portraying dancers diverse across every conceivable variable.

I do not think viewers are intended to stay for the whole thing, which would be tiring, but the exhibit is well worth a few minutes’ gaze. If you are interested in the insights of critics whose job it is to justify their jobs, you will find plenty of that in the leaflets handed out on site. If you are not, do go nonetheless. Slow Dancing will not disappoint—there is something to it.

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