mechanical response

original dance film created in Detroit, MI (USA)

“…next of evolution of dance for the camera.”
Ryan Myers-Johnson, Founder, Detroit Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts

“…next of evolution of dance for the camera.” –Ryan Myers-Johnson, Founder, Detroit Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts

A dozen collaborators co-created the original dance film mechanical response in Detroit, MI (USA). The piece premiered at N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (Detroit) before a capacity crowd, later being featured at RADfest in Kalamazoo, Michigan (USA).

Filmed at Light Box Performance Venue (formerly Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church) by Joshua Tyron (DP), Seth Thompson (Cinematographer) and Raleigh Chadderdon (AP).

Written, directed and edited by Erin Wilson. Libretto/concept by Erin Wilson and Lisa LaMarre.

Choreography by Lisa LaMarre with dancers Rachael Ahn Harbert, Miranda Smith and Marianne Brass.

Trailer scored by Jaws That Bite, scored by Matt Black with vocals by Erin Lenau, percussion by Alex Hamel.

Part of a cross-state collaboration involving a number of artists from Dance in the Annex (DITA) – a contemporary dance collective based in Grand Rapids, MI.


The piece explores the process of removing one’s humanity as part of committing violence against the innocent. Empathic layers are peeled away in order to follow through with aggression, ferocity and rage – and to live with it, afterward. The crudeness and velocity of aggression are represented in the poem “I Am The Bullet,” written by Wilson, by a bullet spiraling through the chamber of a gun. The film brings the imagery to a visual, visceral crescendo, and exemplifies the presence of a certain external power and a certain internal tunnel that one places themselve inside to execute an act of violence.


“mechanical response is a haunting study in physical and emotional violence as expressed by a diverse cast of talented and emotive dancers. The film seamlessly juxtaposes the natural and built environment through a collision of shots in cold desolate churches and the snow-covered streets of Detroit. It is more than a dance film: it’s a dark exploration of the camera’s ability to manipulate our perceptions of physicality, touch, intimacy and personal freedom. Lyrical, dark and frighteningly intimate, mechanical response represents the next of evolution of dance for the camera.” -Ryan Myers-Johnson (Founder and Curator, Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts)

Capacity crowd for the N’Namdi Center (Detroit) premiere of “mechanical response,” director Erin Wilson introduces the dance film.

Erin Wilson
Lisa LaMarre

based on the poem:
I Am The Bullet

Erin Wilson

Lisa LaMarre

Lisa LaMarre
Rachael Harbert
Miranda Smith
Marianne Brass

director of photography:
Josh Tyron

Seth Thompson

Joshua Tyron
Seth Thompson
Raleigh Chadderdon

production assistant:
Raleigh Chadderdon

Light Box Performance Venue
(formerly Greater New Light
Baptist Missionary Church)

music score:
Matt Black

Erin Wilson

Erin Lenau

audio production (drums/vocals):
Alex Hamel

LaMarre and Dancers
SideCar Studios
Epiglottic Photographic
Green Frog Photo & Video
Light Box Performance Venue

mechanical response debuted at
N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
Detroit, MI (USA)

made possible by:
Wege Foundation

Upcoming film debut: As In Life

Other ArtPeers collaborations:

doom eager


respirador (1 of 6)

What It Was, Was

angle of repose


nothing stupid

spiders (trailer)

the great swiftness