Choreocinema: Maya Deren (15*) + Introduction


28 January 2017
Cinema 2
When the pioneering experimental films of Maya Deren first began to appear back in the 1940s, a new term – choreocinema – was coined to describe them. Deren had ties to the contemporary dance scene, and was interested both in the human body in motion, and in the medium of film as a means to choreograph movement.

While Deren was not the first to explore links between dance and film, she merged choreography and cinematography systematically in order to create with and through movement, advancing ‘choreocinema’ as a new artform.

In Deren’s centenary year, we are pleased to present a selection of these later films, including A Study for Choreography for Camera , in which dancer Talley Beatty leaps from space to space across film splices; Ritual in Transfigured Time, where an elaborate ‘choreography for camera’ transforms everyday movements into dancelike passages; Meditation on Violence, in which a dancelike choreographed sequence builds to a more jagged martial-arts demonstration; and The Very Eye of Night, Deren’s last finished film, in which the night sky comes to life as dancers from the Metropolitan Operal Ballet School re-enact the ancient dramas of constellation mythology.

We are delighted to be joined by performance and media artist, and founder-editor of the International Journal of Screendance, Claudia Kappenberg, to introduce this screening.


A Study in Choreography for the Camera
US 1945 Dir Maya Deren 3 min

A Study in Choreography for Camera - Outtakes
US 1945 Dir Maya Deren 16 min

Ritual in Transfigured Time

US 1946 Dir Maya Deren 15 min

Meditation on Violence
US 1948 Dir Maya Deren 13 min

The Very Eye of Night

US 1952-55 Dir Maya Deren 15 min

Running time 62 min

This event is part of:

This film has been awarded an F-Rating

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings

Barbican offers the best new film releases alongside a unique programme of special seasons and events


why not try

The Town Hall Affair
21 - 24 Jun 18 / Theatre
Information info

Magnum Photos Now: The Journey
2 Oct 17 / Frobisher Auditorium 1
Information info

John Akomfrah: Purple
6 Oct 17 - 7 Jan 18 / Curve Gallery
Information info