Adam Roberts – selected work

dance films

*pieces of the Quiet Dance*

2006 HDV (18 mins)

A cut down version of a longer dance piece, following the legs an arms rather
than the heads. To and fro, that delight to the camera’s eye becomes everything.

*Both Sitting Duet*

2003 DV (44 mins)

To resist the search for fresh points of view, to allow the structure of the
choreography to show itself. Change when it comes is always later than expected.
Minimal but distinct picture processing is intended to give the look and feel
of an archaeological find.

*the Stop Quartet / film*

1996 16mm (44 mins)

“Rhythm is a matter of proportion not of accent”, says Arthur Schnabel.

Cutting to be regimented, determined by an arbitrary set of proportions; black-outs
introduced as punctuation; position and duration determined by the same set of
proportions. Moreover, the camera to frame the stage, never individual dancers.
Even the synchronization of footsteps also to be manipulated, according to the
same pattern. All minimal effects: subliminal ebbing and flowing, like a moiré
pattern in time.

_*Singing* _

2003 digital video (17 mins)

What happens if one off-vertical shot is juxtaposed with another, and action
dissolves revealing a momentary doubling of the dancers? A first film made with
digital video – allowing a new approach to editing – where expensive effects like
wipes are possible, and desirable too, softening and accentuating revised points
of view.

_*Blue/yellow *_
_**_1995 16mm (13 mins)

Our eyes love the beautiful because they (as Nieztzshe puts it) “remain fixed
on what remains veiled, even after the unveiling”. Dance film to exist somewhere
between the veiled and its unveiling. Dance film is surely never quite a thing
in itself – after all, it is dance first and only then film. Sylvie Guillem commissioned
this piece for her television experiment Evidentia.


1995 35mm (5 mins)

An unblinking one-shot dance film – a rejection of cutting, or an exercise in
letting the musical structure speak for itself. At the outset (where the camera
dollies towards and into the lap of the dancing figure) a tantalizing glimpse
of a world in reverse (like a Rachel Whiteread mould).

_*Our / film *_
_**_1994 16mm (13 mins)

To investigate the contrast between the audience (front on) point-of-view and
that of the performer. To overlap cutting, leading to momentary deja-vu, and so
to counter the invisibility of film-cutting. Three duets taken from the whole,
each playing longer than in life.

_*Very *_
_**_1993 8mm optically enlarged to 16mm (13 mins)

To make the difficulty of apprehension overt, to include the blink, and the
loss of attention; to structure an experience in a psychological rather than
a documentary realm.

selected other work


2008 drama documentary script commissioned by Portland Green Cultural Projects

three scenarios & Iterations

2007, a single and a multi channel video


2007 Monologue “Cry Fowl” commissioned by Deborah Tiso, for Sadlers Wells


2006 two screen video work, premiered Todds Gallery, Hastings, Jan 2008.

Noriko opens For Bunita Marcus by Morton Feldman for the first time

2005 documentary film


2004/6 original feature film screenplay, UK Film Council


2002 original feature film screenplay, BFI / Illuminations Films

__1997 short film. C4, BFI, National Lottery

_Mickey Finn
__1991 short film. Grand Prix du Jury, Angers International Film Festival 1992


1991 short film. Bronze prize Ebensee Film Festival

Literature references:

Discussion of Hands in: “Screen Choreography: Dance and the Moving Image” (Oxford
University Press, 2008) by Dr. Erin Brannigan

Review of Adam Roberts’ dance films DVD in Dance Theatre Journal, Summer 2006
edition, by Daniella Perazzo

Chapter on Hands in “Dance on Screen: Genres and Media from Hollywood to Experimental
Art” (Palgrave, 2001) by Sherill Dodds

Filmwaves no 12, 2000 survey of Adam Roberts’ dance films by Cleo Williams

Liberation. 30.12.95 review of blue/yellow

survey of Adam Roberts’ dance films, Dance Theatre Journal: autumn edition 1996,
by Sophie Constanti

Body, reviewed by Dan Glaister, Guardian 22.8.94

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