Bolo Productions

The Ultimate in Dance Floors        Dance Videography

Dance Videography

To contact us:

Phone: 323-356-4439 message (661) 945-1873



David Sukonick – Dance video archivist and producer



15 years camera work in the theatre

25 years professional ballet dancing, directing, and choreography

Classical pianist and violinist


Present equipment used:

Sony DSR450 WSL 16x9 wide screen DVCAM camcorder

Vinten tripods with Sony professional 14” monitor in the field

Canopus/Grass Valley digital editing system


Horton Awards Presentation Videos

Lifetime Achievement  for Jaime Rogers 2006

Lifetime Achievement  for Stefan Wenta 2005


Partial client list:

Inland Pacific Ballet

Inland Empire Ballet

Rhapsody in Taps

South Bay Ballet

San Pedro Ballet

Media City Ballet

Ballet Montmartre

Redlands Festival Ballet

Pacific Regional Dance Festival

Orchesis Dance Company

Ballet Collective

National Ballet of Maryland

Intersect Dance Theatre

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

Orange County High School of the Arts

John Burroughs High School

Black Mountain Ballet Theatre

Scottsdale Ballet

Marat Daukayev Russian Ballet

Dmitri Kulev Russian Ballet

Le Studio Dance

The Vibe

Jonette Swider Dance Center

Ledges and Bones Dance

Orange Coast College

Golden West College

Occidental College

Tongue Dance

Backhaus Dance

Grigoriev Russian Ballet

Aeolian Ballet Theatre

Francisco Martinez Dance Theatre

Los Angeles Classical Ballet

City Ballet of Los Angeles

Stella Dance Company

Malibu Ballet

Dance Peninsula Ballet

Dynamic Dance

Dance Video Shooting Techniques

I am posed with the question of shooting with extra cameras quite often with the idea that more is better.  This is patently wrong when shooting a dance show.  I rarely shoot more than one camera.  It is a usually a waste of time and money.  I have developed exceptional single camera skills and intuition for movement as a result of my lifetime in dance.

Dance was not meant to be shot or seen at various at angles unless specifically made for film.  All choreography is conceived, created, and meant to be seen from front center.  Shooting from the side makes dancers look "turned in".  Shooting from too steep and angle makes them look short with flexed feet. Using multiple cameras as in a standard shoot breaks up the movement.  More often than not it greatly delays the final product which ends up looking more like a commercial because of all the cuts.  With three cameras you usually end up with three bad shots rather than one good one. The true objective is to combine the three cameras in your head while shooting.  Our eyes have their own type of zoom built into them. We can take in the entire stage or follow a single dancer, blocking out all else from the same seat.  A camera does not have this ability. Our extraordinary ability to focus on a small area simulates the camera zoom. Our ability of extreme selection has to be transferred to video via the camera’s zoom. When skillfully done you will not notice that there is a single camera capturing the entire event. This is not the easiest task as we are accustomed to different shot angles every few seconds with television.

There are actually a few of ways to shoot a dance video.  I have quite a bit of latitude because I shoot in wide screen.  One is to play it completely safe and capture every finger and foot of every dancer that is on stage no matter what.  This is what your basic recital videographers will do and choreographers often like this.  This usually makes for a boring video and does not capture the essence of many dancers since it is much like sitting in the back of the theatre.  It throws out all of the benefits of having a great zoom.  Another way is to shoot very aggressively in the manner of what you would like to see in a movie or broadcast television. This can be the extremely effective and is great for the viewer.  To shoot like this takes great concentration and skills, both technical and visual.  There is little room for error as you have to take chances and hope there are not too many odd entrances.  This is actually more of a necessity on the standard 3x4 aspect camera to avoid seeing more of the audience and top of the theatre than what is going on the stage. 

I pick out my scenes and zoom in where it feels appropriate.  I will not shoot a stagnant corps of dancers when you have soloists working. There are also times when only the upper body and face are doing the dancing.  In chorus sections where everyone is doing the same step I will zoom in and pan across the stage to capture expressions.  Many of the new styles of dance such as Hip Hop are all about attitude and you don't see it if the dancer looks like  a speck on the stage. My idea is to get as close as possible while at the same time allowing the dance to be recreated from the video. From a technical standpoint I also shoot everything manually. No amount of equipment can substitute for a good eye.  In other words I compensate for all of the lighting on the fly with constant physically adjustment of the iris.  Every theatre has dark and bright scenes and individual dark and hot spots on the stage. Spot lights must also be dealt with. I rarely take my eyes off the monitor except for a quick glance at the stage.  The first time must be close to perfect as there are no second takes. 

The DVD's I use are the highest professional level material and not available in local stores.  Information is printed directly on to the DVD. The shows are authored to the maximum resolution possible on the disc.  I put direct links to individual dances on the top menu.  If there are a huge amount of pieces I put indexes so that a single touch of the fast forward moves you to the next dance. I include titles and credits with a 3D intro when possible.  I put the DVD's in standard heavy duty jewel cases. All DVD's are guaranteed to play perfectly. In the very rare instance of a bad DVD I will replace it. It must be tested first to show it is actually bad and not because of an old or faulty DVD player.

Example of how not to video dance