Baltasar Thomas

I could have been a dancer

In November 2014, I was commissioned by dance company Ultima Vez to make a teaser trailer for a show called ‘Tornar’ by performer/choreographer Seppe Baeyens. During this project, I became interested in finding the balance between being a spectator and being a participant. When I’m filming something or someone, I often feel a sort of tension, caused by the fact that my role is ambiguous. I am a spectator/voyeur – yet, at the same time, my presence shapes the event taking place. The camera becomes part of the performance.

‘I could have been a dancer’ – HD video, 8’56, 2016’HD video, 8’56, 2016

I also learned that the way I perceive the things unfolding before my eyes, can be transformed by these very things themselves. And this evolving perception can in turn affect how I handle the camera. Evidently, when one favours this way of ‘working by instinct’, it means taking a lot of risks, aesthetically. In 2015, I used images shot for the Tornar teaser to make a short autobiographical film called I could have been a dancer. In this film, I extended the idea of the ‘camera as performer’ to my approach in editing.

The function of editing is setting the rules of space and time for the world I’m creating. By exposing the processes of editing (selecting, categorizing and placing frames next to one another or on top of one another), form becomes content.