Choreographing for the Camera is a film, video and conference series on the concept of video dance that includes audiovisual pieces somewhere between dance, film and video created by directors, choreographers and dancers working together. To reconstruct the process since Merce Cunningham and Nam June Paik made their first video dance piece, it is important to remember that modern dance and film have been conjoined since the outset and have had cyclical moments of intense collaboration. The appearance of video - the tool closest to avant-garde movements - at the time of the ascendency of the creation of contemporary dance in the United States and Europe rekindled a desire to experiment among choreographers. The possibility of participating in the great communicative power of audiovisual media tempted many young choreographers who found new staging spaces and new ways of reaching in the public in images. The 1980s were a golden age for video dance productions, especially in France and Belgium, where public institutions decisively supported their creators. Festivals and shows like the Centre Pompidou’s Video Danse and competitions like Grand Prix and Dance Screen organised by the International Music + Media Center (IMZ), became meeting points for the profession and a thermometer of the quality and quantity of productions in the genre, and also revealed the growing interest of television programmers. It was during these years as well that video dance began to appear in Spain: La Mostra de Video-Dansa in Barcelona was a driving force, not only from the point of view of dissemination, but also in terms of production in the country. In Madrid, festivals like Madrid en Danza provided annual grants, while the Metrópolis (TVE) and Piezas (Canal+) programmes regularly broadcast national and international video dance programmes.
The genre did not merely exist; it fully entered the cultural realm at the end of the century to the extent that creative and investigative works began to be differentiated from large-scale productions adapted for the television market. However, we should reflect on the future of this trend towards the cumbersome, accessible product known as ‘entertainment’, on the lack of funds for investigation and on the need to support directors and choreographers so that they can continue to invigorate what is clearly a solid relationship between dance and the moving image.