Iveta Karpathyova blends her interest and expertise in traditional animation, bachata dance and Shaolin Kung Fu through what she calls “the lens of embodiment.” Her investigation into the epistemic structure of these different disciplines reveals the knowledge generated through our bodies, and explores martial arts and Latin dance movements, gestures, training forms and body articulations.
Phases of Dance, the short animated film Karpathyova created for her Master of Design research project in the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) program, analyzes aspects of visual expression, performance and bachata technique through a series of 2,100 individual drawings. She developed the animated film using a rotoscoping process. After first choreographing a bachata dance sequence, Karpathyova performed it with her dance partner, Pavlo Farmakis, filmed it, then interpreted the movement with her drawings in a way that illustrates her masterful understanding of movement and motion.
Karpathyova used the IAMD program as springboard into animation. Her artistic practice is grounded in commercial illustration work and graphic design, fields she spent nine years working professionally in, after earning a Bachelor’s of Design from Ryerson University, with a major in Fashion Communication.
“The more research I’ve conducted on the interdisciplinary connections between my practices, the more I came to recognize Norman McLaren’s notion of animation as an art of motion that has more in common with dance than with static arts like painting” she says. “My background in dancing and martial arts defines the perspective through which I view motion and understand movement as an animator.” Analyzing the musicality, technical and performance elements inherent in dance, while drawing it frame-by-frame, those of muscle tension, points of impact and expression, also enabled her to bring a new perspective to her dance teaching and performance.
Karpathyova presented her research and Phases of Dance at the Animation and Philosophy Symposium Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, in April 2018 as well as the Society of Animation Studies Conference at Concordia University, Montreal, in June, 2018. Her martial arts animations premiered at the Fighting Spirit Film Festival in London, UK in fall, 2017. She freelances in San Francisco and Toronto and continues to teach; most recently she created a class on rotoscoping animation, instructed at the Toronto Animated Image Society in January 2018.
Find out more: www.ivetaka.com
Writer/author/editor Suzanne Alyssa Andrew is also the president and biographer-in-chief of Biograflyer.