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Old 05-10-2007, 09:35 AM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
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origins of this "shadow dance" video

I was recently e-mailed a short video that shows a dance troup forming "shadow shapes": a tall man, penguins, people riding in a car, a gun shooting a bullet (James Bond reference).

It was sent to me by a german-speaking person with the title Schattentanz (german for Shadow Dance). I found the video at the youtube site with keywords Shadow Dance.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fW9b4rHJUPc

Does anyone know any details about the name of the dance troupe and/or where this was filmed? A google search for "schattentanz" brings up a bunch of (seemingly) unrelated sites. Same for "shadow dance".
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:30 AM
dinahmoe dinahmoe is offline
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Pretty sure it's from this year's Oscar ceremony. Don't know the name of the troupe, though.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:11 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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This seems like as good a place as any to ask: are they cheating? When I watched the Oscars (definitely where the clip is from, by the way), I thought that it looked like the shadows were not live. They appear to be a recorded image, projected onto the screen, and played in reverse. I think they arranged themselves into those complicated shapes, started recording, then "fell apart" to make it look neat, and finally they just ran the film backwards to make it appear that they were leaping into these complicated patterns.

Watch the hair of the woman (or possibly man with a ponytail, I suppose) who rolls in from the left side just before making the gun (which was for The Departed, actually, as I recall, not James Bond). It doesn't behave naturally. There's a similar effect with the hair of the person who rolls in around third from the right side before making the Oscar statue. Her hair "fans out" in an odd way before she rolls.

So. They pretended they were doing it live, but I don't think they did. Am I right?
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:53 AM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
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The name of the dance troop is Pilobolus.
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:05 PM
mobo85 mobo85 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Winkelried
a tall man, penguins, people riding in a car, a gun shooting a bullet (James Bond reference).
The "tall man" is the Oscar statuette. The other scenes come from some of the nominated films: the penguins are from Happy Feet, the car is from Little Miss Sunshine, and the gun is from The Departed, not James Bond. There was an additional gag which involved Ellen Degeneres (the ceremony's host) being surrounded by all sides by the troupe while thinking aloud to herself, ending with the troupe forming the logo for Snakes on a Plane (which wasn't nominated, but was one of the biggest cinema punchlines of 2006).
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:25 PM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
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Thanks guys! I knew I could depend on the Dope. I thought I heard the James Bond theme in the last part when the gun is being formed but now I realize I was wrong.
Max Torque, wasn't this routine performed "live" during the Oscars? Which would preclude the possibility of "cheating".
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:33 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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Here is another video from YouTube by Pilobolus.
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:38 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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Cool, apparently they have a YouTube profile as well.
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:59 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Winkelried
Thanks guys! I knew I could depend on the Dope. I thought I heard the James Bond theme in the last part when the gun is being formed but now I realize I was wrong.
Max Torque, wasn't this routine performed "live" during the Oscars? Which would preclude the possibility of "cheating".
Theoretically, it was performed live. However, what we the audience saw was a bunch of performers running behind the screen, at which point, ostensibly, the backlight was turned on, casting the performers' shadows onto the screen.

But, once the performers jog out of sight behind the screen, who's to say that what they project onto the screen is a live performance? It's much easier to let the performers slip away and project a pre-recorded shadow performance, just like projecting a film on a screen. That would also ensure that the performance would be perfect, since you could rehearse until you got it right.

Based on the way their hair moves, I'm pretty darn sure that for at least a couple of those stunts, they were pre-recorded with them starting in the "end" position, dropping out and rolling away, and then running the film backward to make it look as though they leapt up into these complicated shapes.
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:08 PM
corkboard corkboard is offline
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I recall the performances from the Oscars (and can't open the youtube links right now from work) but would be very surprised if they weren't done live. Pilobolus is a pretty highly-respected modern dance troupe, and they're all about live performance. I'd be amazed to learn that they cheated and pre-taped the shadow screen bits rather than performing them live.
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