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Bebe Miller

Process Based Dance Documentation

“Unpretentious,” “postmodern,” “both electric and soulful” describes the work of Brooklyn-based artist Bebe Miller. Her choreographic process is one in which repeating a movement over and over is integral to understanding the relationship the dancer has to the movement; and that the movement has to the dancer. As a post modern Miller has broken through barriers and embraced art-making techniques that involve dancers, music, improvisation, time, and “catching.”  Capturing Miller’s process as well as her movement, Valarie Mockabee, Project Director and Professional Notator candidate and Mila Parrish, Ph.D. media designer, struggled with choices in putting down the process and product during the rehearsals of Prey, Miller’s work she created at The Ohio State University. The outcome was a CD-ROM to accompany the Labanotation score of Prey that displays the choreographic process through interactive multimedia.

Thematic content sections of the CD-ROM

The content sections of the CD-ROM provide insight into Miller’s process and resulting choreographic work, Prey (2000). The six content sections are defined as

  1. Meet Bebe

  2. Context

  3. Movement Content

  4. Process

  5. Bebe Notes

  6. Complete Video

Meet Bebe supplies biographical information about the artist, her company, and an in-depth interview with Miller answering questions concerning Prey and her choreographic process. Context provides Miller’s art making process within universal themes and socio-cultural contexts that define her as the commensurate postmodern choreographer. A descriptive analysis of Prey written by dance scholar Candace Feck is highlighted. Movement Content offers video examples of the choreographic structures, thematic content, and phrasing in the work Prey. Process includes the improvisational structures employed in the development of the dance; highlighted are Miller’s directives and tasks and her dancers’ solutions to these structures. Bebe Notes provides digitized video of Miller articulating the choices of performance alongside the Labanotation score while Complete Video displays an edited three-camera shoot of the entire dance.

PBDD is a model for interactive dance documentation identifying key movement elements, problem-solving techniques employed and movement themes relating to the work created and to the choreographers approach to the development of choreography.

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