Superposition (2007)

Superposition (IMDB) is an adventurous exploration of the territory that lies between live and recorded performance. The film records three complete performances of a dance solo, each through a coloured filter—red, green, and blue—and then superimposes them to reveal the subtle variations and surprising correspondences inherent to live performance. Visually striking and conceptually daring, Superposition exposes the paradox of precision in live performance.

The film features the National Ballet of Canada’s Marissa Parzei and an original score by Dustin Peters. It was shot in front of a live audience in May 2006 and premiered in competition at the 2007 Worldwide Short Film Festival. It is currently distributed non-exclusively by Movieola through Ouat Media.


Okay, that’s the copy. Here’s the skinny: the film was a complete miracle. From concept to wrap was maybe five weeks. Dustin Peters composed an incredible six-hand piano score; I set the piece on Marissa in about a week; we organized a live shoot and all the pieces fell into place.

Then editing. We used six completely different cameras and three recording media (SVHS, miniDV, miniDVD). I learned how to colour-grade and conform footage by the same method monkeys use to teach their children to swim: throw them in the deepest part of the river and cross your fingers. I was dancing with the National Ballet at the time, and I started editing just as we went into a long rehearsal process for Sleeping Beauty. I‘d come home from the show around midnight, work until 3am, then be at class the next day at 11. I was actually grateful; facing Beauty without something else to work on might have done me in.

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