Collaborations Collaborations with Jessica Chen

J Chen Project: First Rehearsal

Jchen project

I’m collaborating with the amazing Jessica Chen (J Chen Project) in creating a conceptual dance piece about shadows. Below are video clips of our experimental first rehearsal, which was the culmination of many discussions, meetings, and planning.

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Director, Dancer, and Choreographer, Jessica Chen of the J Chen Project

Working with us is my dear collaborator, Mark Ressl (MARKITECT), who is helping to conceptualize and fabricate the set.

This piece is based on Jessica’s own personal vision, with visual input by me. The final presentation of the piece will be video, although we envision the potential for an ensemble and stage version of this piece as well. As it progresses, the piece should become more linear and narrative.

I’ll be in the role of director of photography as well, and will be editing the product in collaboration with Jessica’s direction.

Throughout the process, Mark and I observed Jessica’s movements carefully and provided direction and motivation. During the times I was part of the set, directing the light to create shadows, I felt the same way I do when painting. Here I literally felt that I was painting with light and shadow. By focusing on Jessica’s movements, I tried to move with her to emphasize the projection of her shadow, to enlarge or smallify it, to make it crisp or blurred.

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Lee Milby and Jessica Chen review video within an experimental stage set.
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Lee Milby, probably giving some sort of direction or discussing the set design or choreography. I’m really not sure.
Lee Milby and Jessica Chen
Lee Milby providing direction.
Lee Milby and Jessica Chen
Lee Milby and Jessica Chen discuss video.

More behind the scenes material.

View a stage mockup and a preliminary inspiration video here: