Adam Roberts

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Our / film 1995

13 mins, 16mm, 1.33:1, b&w

I selected three duets from Jonathan Burrows’ dance piece Our. There are only two camera positions: one at the back of the stage looking directly into the stage lighting, and the other from the front but hand-held to mimic the uneasy movement of the eye of a person in an audinec position. The two positions are further contrasted by providing sound only for the audience POV shots, while the reverse angles are mute. More or less.

The editing makes great use of overlapping and repeating of the movements, so that the second pass allows reinterpretation and speculation. The artifice of the edit becomes more apparent. Thus there are several pairings: audience and dancer, sound and silence, inside and out, stage space and film space, real time and film time, past and present, present and future. Our/film should produce a mental map of a dance performance, one where time and space, not just choreography, occupy the mind’s eye. Perception, surely, is an active process.

Psychologically speaking, memory often (if not continually) echoes what has just passed, overlaying onto the present. There is no uncluttered sense of the present moment, the past cuts into experience, making a nonsense of a simple notion of continuity and sequence.


Lynne Bristow, Deborah Jones, Fionuala Power, Edwin Lung, Henry Montes

choreography: Jonathan Burrows

lighting: Jack Hazan

music: Matteo Fargion

director/camera/editing: Adam Roberts

shown on BBC TV Late Show 1995