Take 3, HD video, 13 minutes 34 seconds

Take 3 is a film by artist-filmmaker Matthew Burdis and choreographer and dancer Diane Madden. They met in 2017 as residents of Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, IT and began working together in the 2018 residency programme. The time spent working together was based around a dance choreographed and performed by Madden in the Torre Bonomo; a medieval tower in Spoleto that was previously an exhibition space and contains seminal Sol LeWitt wall drawings from the early 1970’s. 

The decision was made to focus on Madden’s right hand throughout the duration of the dance, in an uninterrupted take: resulting in Burdis moving with Madden from beginning to end. In discussions between the two, Madden referred to the surface that she was performing on as being like a frame, a tactile edge that the unrelenting movement would encounter.

Over the week of filming, the dance was performed in four different locations in the Torre Bonomo, each on different surfaces and architectural levels. These dances and subsequently the films vary in length, between 12 - 18 minutes, with the location and surface often contributing to these variations.

Take 3, 2018, is the 13 minute single screen work of the dance that took place at the very top of the Torre, with the panoramic countryside surrounding Spoleto as a distant background. This period of filming took place in August 2018, after the Festival dei Due Mondi had drawn to an end and Spoleto returned to it’s tranquil, small town timelessness as captured in Take 3.

There were two main components in the process of working together. In the morning Burdis and Madden would place and film a complete, uninterrupted take of the dance. In the afternoon the pair would invent and film movements focusing on the hands that were either task-like or playful interactions between each other and the Torre Bonomo: responding to its history and architecture. The focus on hand movements then extended beyond the Torre and into the town of Spoleto itself. Most notably in sections filmed with the local Piazza del Mercato market stall owners as they used different techniques of balancing and weighing their produce.

The filmed hand movements are laid over the 13 minute uninterrupted film of the dance, thus creating the effect of a double exposure, amalgamating different images and rhythms that unfold simultaneously.

This work was premiered as part of the Sundays on Broadway programme, Cathy Weis Projects, NYC, United States, November 2018.

Email Matthew Burdis to request a link to the film.