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Live Webcasts for Arts Organizations

One of the more exciting developments this past year (aside Obama’s Inauguration, the stock market crash, and Twitter – yes there are other things in this world aside from twitter), has been the proliferation of live online video.

Websites + companies like UStream.tv and Mogulus have made high quality live web broadcasts a reality.

This past year alone, I produced live performance webcasts for Martha Graham Dance, Misnomer Dance, and DanceBrazil. All of these webcasts featured live webchats, and a global audience.

These unique online events brought in more audience members than the theaters could hold, and generated more online buzz than any of these companies could have hoped for.

Simply said, more people saw their work online than in the theater. Not only that, but the online audience loved the performances and were highly engaged, updating their facebook statuses while the performances were happening. Many came back to the website long after the webcast was done to see the archived video. All of this was not too surprising for me. People love interacting online, particularly around live events.

Just think back to the past few Oscar Parties, Superbowls, and Elections….

What was surprising to me – many people who were watching the webcast had already seen the company’s work before live – in the theater. However, countless others had never had the opportunity to see the company’s work and lived in places the company had not yet toured.

I thought I’d share a little more insight and answer some common questions I’ve received since then:

  • How do I do a live webcast?
  • How much does this cost?
  • Is this for me?
  • Where’s the money?
  • Will it take away from my live audience?

Before I start answering these questions, I’m wondering – why aren’t more companies doing this?
Bars in New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale have webcams and webstreams.
Why aren’t arts organizations and companies doing the same?

I’m convinced this is the year companies will start putting their live work on the web.

Am I wrong?

Watch Misnomer Dance‘s webcast
Watch DanceBrazil‘s archived performance

Dance Videos made for the web

Why is “dance made for the web” an important topic?

Elizabeth Zimmer wrote in December 2008, “The past 20 years have seen the proliferation of cheap video equipment, and rare is the downtown stage not shared between dancers and video projections…some of these artists are as savvy as they are gifted, and they will figure out a way to cross over and enter the consciousness of a critical mass of viewers.”

As audiences for dance grow through the web and stage, so does the opportunity to create and share work.
Some it is completely choreographed, others are more improvisational.

I’ve compiled a few videos that give us a peek into the present + future (or death) of dance, art, technology, and the surrounding community dialogue on the web. Please feel free to add links to videos you’ve seen in the comments section.

Also – for a nice overview of videos focused on Ballet, take a look at Doug Fox’s post.

I will be showing + starting at 12:13

Maybe we all dream to be………? from T.A.G.San Francisco on Vimeo
Dancers: Drew Jacoby and Rubi Pronk
Choreography/art direction: Brian Gibbs
Shot and edited: Mattew Taylor
The piece was shot on a rooftop in Williamsburg Brooklyn

There are many more videos available “below the fold” –
See the full post

Click the MORE link to see the rest of the videos…

Read more

Artist Salon at Chez Bushwick, March 25th

[via Move The Frame blog]

At the next Artist Salon on March 25th at Chez Bushwick, I will be looking at dance work created specifically for the web. Dance on Camera has already established itself as a viable medium for showcasing dance + performance. However, there is a growing trend of artists creating and adapting work specifically for the web. For example, New York City Ballet’s Tragic Love series, or more recently, Cedar Lake’s  Project 52 – all videos made specifically for the web.

Like site specific work, these (web)site specific pieces are showing that these new constraints are creating short format work, with new possibilities for distribution, creativity, and collaboration.

You are invited bring in your own examples of web-based videos to show at the Salon. 

The Artist Salon series happens on the fourth Wednesdays of the month at Chez Bushwick and features dialogue across disciplines around various artist-chosen topics. Anyone can bring questions, stories, artifacts, or material to add to the conversation.


“Dance for Web” moderated by Jaki Levy

Wed. March 25, 2009 @ 7pm $5

Chez Bushwick
304 Boerum St., Buzzer #11
Brooklyn, NY 11206
•L TRAIN to Morgan Avenue
•Exit the BACK of the train
•Turn LEFT outside the station
•Turn LEFT onto Boerum Street
(Chez Bushwick is roughly 80 steps from the station)
Google Map

New Site Launch | Time Lapse Dance

With the help of many, many people and some great teamwork, we officially launched this site for Jody Sperling : Time Lapse Dance

The original redesign was put together by Paris Marashi, while the site design and content management system was executed by Sam Marx

Jody’s upcoming work, Ghosts, will feature a wearable costume assembled by ITP folk (Jenny Chowdhury & Alex Kowal)

The site features a full content management system (run on Drupal), a full media player managed through brightcove, and some nice graphic work provided by her colleagues.

Check out the customized media player here.

During the process, we spent great care taking a look at the works page.
We wanted to make sure we could feature individual photos, videos, and text – all in one area – so the content management system had to be flexible enough to handle all those elements.

During the process, we also setup a facebook page, a blip.tv page, as well as a pro flickr account. The goal of setting up all these sites were simply to allow Jody to extend her reach beyond her site, while still providing a homebase for her work, and image.

In addition to visiting the new site, make sure you check out Ghosts, premiering in October!

Video Solutions

As lots of videoBloggers know, YouTube is great because of the large audience. However, the quality lacks, and users can’t download any of your videos directly from the site.

(You can however use a service called DownloadYouTubeVideos to do this – but the quality is still poor)

So, what else is out there? I’ve briefly reviewed some good video solutions that I personally use. If you see something missing, or have a question, please let me know + leave a comment. My goal is to compile a comprehensive resource for content producers, hosts, designers, and curators of video content. Hope this list helps!

Great for programmers, developers, bloggers, and others who want their videos downloadable. Nice design + social networking capabilities. The nicest feature I like is the friend updates. Whenever a friend of yours leaves a comment, or gives some ‘net love to another video, you’ll see the instant feedback on your account. Good way to discover new video.

A Great solution for internet television, but not so great for video bloggers. Allows you to create your own custom channel. Here’s an example.

Another great feature is the customizable upload forms. You can create these custom upload forms and embed the form into your site. This way, visitors can upload videos to your custom channel without leaving your webpage.

BrightCove offers desktop software to help you manage your online media. Part of the software includes a batch uploader which allows you to upload multiple files at once.

Revver is also popular but I do not use it. They allow visitors to download video, but I don’t really know enough about Revver to be writing about it.

Blip.Tv is probably one of my favorites. They offer visitors and content producers high quality video, downloadable content, and the ability to create iTunes podcasts. They also offer content producers the ability to create a custom channel. Here is an example I created a while back.

Blip.Tv helps your content go beyond the web. The site helps you convert your videos for viewing on cell phones, video iPods, and many other formats.

Like Brightcove, Blip.Tv also offers a batch uploader, so you can upload many files at once, saving content producers and publishers LOTS of time.

I’ve embedded a video to give you a taste of the quality :


What if you just want to send video back and forth without hosting it publicly?
Use Pando. Pando allows you to send 1GB files & folders via any email or IM.
Think of it like YouSendIt, but for video and way cooler.