On bootlegs

I was watching this Youtube video of the Jabbawockeez performance at World of Dance 2010. The number of cameras in the audience blew my mind! I know that in Winnipeg, a few people record performances, but generally there is an understanding that someone is officially the videographer for the event and that they, from their prime vantage point, will record videos to share with the world. Lately, I have been that videographer.

Why, then, don’t the people in this Jabbawockeez video look around and see that there are going to be dozens of versions of the same performance? And that the best video might be ruined by all of the camcorders in air that block people’s view?

These thoughts occur to me as I prepare for In the Zone 4 Hip Hop Dance Competition. Will many other people be bringing cameras this year? Sometimes it seems like there is a race to get the footage and put it online. It’s ridiculous. However, as a performer, I know how frustrating it is to wait and see footage from a show. Everyone is eager to see themselves so that they can gauge how well they did.

When I mentioned these concerns to Rowin Bernardo, director of Paradox Dance Crew and Mumbler Productions, he talked about video in terms of support. Crews feel supported when footage of them is put up online. A crew like the Jabbawockeez has massive support, so naturally there are thousands of videos of them.

But I also think that NOT recording is a sign of respect for the art of live dance. There is nothing quite like watching a dancer move in inhuman ways in front of you. You miss a lot by watching your tiny LCD display. Enjoy the performance in all it’s glory, people!

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