VI: The Legend of Maya Deren
March 29, 2003, Museum of Theatre, St. Petersburg and Thursday,
April 3, 2003, Museum of Cinema, Moscow
the Mirror of Maya Deren by 104min, 2001 (Austria)
Kudlácek; Procuder: Johannes
(Eleanora Derenkovskaya), a mother of the American Avant-Garde
cinema and dance film as a genre, ethnographer, philosopher and
a dancer, was born in Kiev on April 29, 1917. By 1922, pogroms,
the economy and her father's political proximity to Trotsky forced
her family to flee and settle in Syracuse, New York. Deren studied
journalism and literature and became a personal secretary to the
Black dancer, choreographer and anthropologist Katherine Dunham.
With Dunham she also took dance classes and got exposure to Voodoo
dances of Haiti. In 1943, Deren took on a new name: Maya (the
name of Buddha's mother, as well as an ancient word for "water"
and the "veil of illusion" in Hindu mythology).
marriage to Alexander Hammid, a Czech émigré and
a filmmaker, gave birth to her first film Meshes in the
Afternoon that to this day has been one of the most significant
works of avant-garde cinema.
importantly, Deren was the first to articulate the principles
of creating dance films in a form of the philosophical essays
and distinguish dance film as a particular film genre. In 1945
she created A Study of Choreography for the Camera,
a four-minute film with Talley Beatty within which a dance
is so related to camera and cutting that it cannot be performed
as a unit anywhere but in this particular film (Maya Deren,
Choreography for the Camera, Dance Magazine, 1945).
The Mirror of Maya Deren, Matrina Kudlacek uses footage
from Derens mesmerizing films along with archival audio
interviews from her contemporaries such as experimental filmmaker
Stan Brakhage, dance pioneer Katherine Dunham, actress and Living
Theatre cofounder Judith Malina, and critics Amos Vogel and
Jonas Mekas. Kudlacek glimpses into life of this reminiscent
and influential artist and, at the same, creates a portrait
of the times she lived through.
Born in Vienna in 1965, Martina Kudlácek
studied theater, film and media arts and art history
at the University of Vienna, Austria. She received Bacherlor
degree in Cinematography and Masters degree in Directing for
documentary films at the Film and TV Academy in Prague, Czech
Republic. The focus of her work are experiments in photography,
super-8 and 16mm, and in video. Between 1997-98 she lectured
as a fellow at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne. Within the
last five years, Martina worked as a researcher in Anthology
Film Archives and as an assistant for preservation projects
to the director and filmmaker Jonas Mekas. http://www.bombsite.com/kudlacek/kudlacek.html
© KinodanceRussia, 2004