Dance of the Gods

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An impromptu and athletically-rigorous interpretation of the triumphant descent from Mt. Olympus under the supervision of Helios of the mythological Janus, god of gateways, time, life, death, duality, passages, frames, and transitions. With all those heavenly duties, it seems as if he hardly ever made it out for a relaxing day on the slopes–but when he did, the experience was beyond mortal comprehension. Unique reveal-style P.O.V. filming adds another dimension to the sensation of alpine free-skiing by mimicking the abilities of Janus, who had faces on both sides of his head and therefore was able to see both forward/into the future and backward/into the past simultaneously and with equal acuity. Human skiers who deign to even briefly look back (or at a monitor screen on a device) whilst skiing rapidly down an icy mountain covered with trees and cliffs usually regret it instantly. Fortunately, LiquidVision internal goggle-mounted cameras are able to record the action as their operators focus attention on more important matters such as rote survival. On a deeper level, this film is an artistic and philosophical commentary about how technology transforms us into demi-gods able to tolerate environmental and physical forces far beyond our natural capacities, and thus how we have become our mythology.

The musical selection “Rise from the Ashes” by Sam Shore is choreographed precisely with the action, and reinforces the elation of free-skiing after a fresh snowfall. A soft vignette border blends with the winter scenery, and evokes the feeling of a dreamy, mystical realm. Many natural gateways (specifically at the beginning and ending of the film), transitions, and obstacles are encountered and gracefully overcome during the journey. The athlete, like Janus, is neither solidly bound to Earth nor floating freely in the heavens (a literal physical phenomenon of skiing in deep powder, which is mostly air by volume), but is instead gracefully dancing in the ether separating the two worlds. No visual effects were added, and 100% of the skiing action is displayed in real-time.

Director – Kyle B Wagstaff

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