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Jayne Parker
Her next two projects were commissioned for TV as dance films. While some of her earlier films were shown on television after they were completed, The Reunion (1997) and The Whirlpool (1997) were conceived for broadcasting. In The Reunion, Donald MacLeary and Lynn Seymour dance an imagined aftermath (choreographed by Ian Spink) to their roles as young and doomed lovers in the 1966 ballet 'The Invitation'. Here, the ageing body and the theme of time are paramount. Shot in the as yet unrefurbished Hackney Empire, the film is framed by an objective placement of the viewer in the theatre, before the camera enters the imaginary field of the dance. The Whirlpool, a 'dance spectacle' (JP), is a short lyric psychodrama in which a swimmer is lured into danger by the magic of light and water.

Further collaborations emerged from these projects, with Lynn Seymour in The Reprise, 2000, and with Katharina Wolpe, the pianist seen in The Whirlpool. A stunning result was Thinking Twice (1997), in which Katharina Wolpe plays three pieces for piano by her father, the composer Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972), the first of which is called "Piece of Embittered Music", (from the Zemach Suite). The sardonic title is characteristic of this experimental, argumentative and influential musician. In parallel with the stripped and spartan music, and its fierce intensity, Parker strips the rich colour sequences of her TV films down to black and white in deep tones. In its lucid editing of piano keys in motion, and especially in close up shots of the pianist's hands and face, Parker "attempts to reflect the rigour of the music" (JP). Although she is a highly subjective filmmaker in her personal themes, and in linking ideas that are embodied in the physical world, Thinking Twice seems to draw out her classicism in its formal shaping of visual concepts.

Wolpe's music evokes directly the world of radical modernism in which he spent his life as an itinerant avant-garde composer and refugee, in Europe, Palestine and the USA between and after the two world wars. Along with John Cage he was a formative figure in the rise of the 'New York School' of composers in the 1950s and 1960s. In a series of short films made with the cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, Parker took further the filming of post-serial music based on this legacy.

Postcard for The Reunion by Jayne Parker, 1997
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