Monday night: Stephen and me in the back room of the apartment with the couch up on its end and leaned against the closet door, an art lamp affixed to a tripod shoved in the corner and Stephen's iPhone (camera) propped against the computer. In the wide spot of light beaming against the wall, Stephen and I waltzed in a circle. Trying to stay inside the tiny square marked out with tape on the floor. I banged into the corner of the desk. The blurry shadow figures on the wall were elongated and every time we turned, my butt looked like an attached beach ball.
We tried all night, moved furniture around, pointed the lamp from every angle, but the room was just too small. No way to get the shadows sharp in the frame and keep our real bodies out. I kept saying what we needed to do was go find a blank wall somewhere and project the car's headlights on it, and dance in front of that. Then Stephen came up with the idea of the shadow puppets.
He spent part of Tuesday and Wednesday drawing and cutting out of stiff art board three sets of dancing couples--modeled after Astaire and Rogers from pictures in a book.
This was my job.
Then, when the sun went down, we started filming, shining the light across our stick puppets and against a thin piece of Bristol set up on Stephen's artist's easel.
He filmed from the opposite side, which gave us the sharpest possible shadow dancers. Sadly the parchment paper didn't give us the effect we wanted, so we had to take a little time to remove those pieces, but then we got back to choreographing the dancers.
I knelt down in front of the easel screen and twirled my silhouette duo, and Nicholas came over and curled up on the backs of my calves.
All night, Stephen and I played the music of Shadow Waltz and were two-dimensional dancers in a circle of light.