Monday, February 1, 2010

Mindy Aloff Interview

Mindy Aloff, author of Hippo in a Tutu, is interviewed by Kent Worcester of The Comics Journal.
"Both animation and theatrical dancing are labor-intensive activities that benefit from a benevolent visionary at the helm. Animation today could learn much from what Walt Disney arranged for his staff to do: to visit the ballet and sketch the dancers. And dancing could benefit from Disney’s appreciation of melodic, song-based music with a clear pulse as a floor for dancing. Unfortunately, the simple pleasures of dancing that asks the performer to use a comprehensible vocabulary of steps and expressive gestures, which relate moment by moment to music, are exactly what most students of both animation and choreography want to evade now. Balanchine, in fact, once wrote about how dancing could learn about the elaboration of fantasy from cartoons. Artists globally, though, don’t want what these historical animated films are equipped to teach – joy as the text and complication as the subtext; instead, they want complication, edge, as the text and more complication as the subtext. I think the culture is going to have to change for either group to learn from one another, and I just don’t see that happening in my lifetime. Perhaps a few individuals will take this as a challenge and prove me wrong. I certainly hope so."

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