Dawn Kramer

More Recent Work


I was asked by Massachusetts Peace Action, an anti-nuclear group, to submit a piece in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because I was born the same year these brutal bombs ended a brutal war, I felt a special obligation to “speak.” This 2+ minute video went on their website and was a part of a national online event went live August 6 and 9, 2020 the anniversary of the bombings. The national event was sponsored by a coalition of groups such as Physicians for Social Responsibility and the American Friends Service Committee.

End of piece
Video Still: Stephen Buck


As Dawn interacted with the balloon, unknown to her, Stephen shot this single clip. The video clip was run twice. With the responsiveness of the balloon, and Eden's haunting violin playing, Dawn's quiet exploration seems to express her gentleness, kindness and patience. I thank both artists for their beautiful work and their permissions to use them in this short piece.

Dawn with balloon
Video Still: Stephen Buck


Shot under the full moon on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, Luminous is a short take on the connection between woman and Moon.

The Moon over Dawn's shoulder
Video still: Stephen Buck


Our Algerian poet friend, Malek Alloula, died unexpectedly in February, 2015. We wanted to make a video as an homage to him. His last poem, so prescient, is called Les Pluies du Miracle, (The Rains of the Miracle.) It speaks of a kind of human translucence…that at the end of life as we know it, we become the sky, the sunrise, the luminous colors of the dawn, etc. So I wanted to create evanescent moments in the video. Some of Malek’s favorite places or things were the Canal St. Martin in Paris, chestnut trees, windows covered with gauze curtains, and the Eiffel Tower. These are reflected in our video.

Video still: Stephen Buck

Irish Trilogy


Cottage is the only site-specific video in this series that we shot indoors. It was made in Liadain O’Donovan’s beautifully renovated stable in Kinvara, Ireland. The piece was inspired by the space and the furniture. The character seems to be remembering or looking for someone, perhaps like a Synge play where a husband or son has been lost at sea.

A cottage in Ireland
Video still: Stephen Buck

Burren Bagatelle

Dawn wanted to make a light piece, a gentle spoof of the silent video/movement poems that she have been making in the last few years which tend to be very slow and serious, with the body highly integrated into the environment. She wanted to get a lot of local performers in Ireland. When it did not seem as if it was going to to work out, Stephen suggested that she do all the parts herself. Seven voice over cue tracks, one battery powered monitor with speaker and a 50' cable and innumerable restarts later, plus lots of editing.

Dawn doing all seven parts
Video still Stephen Buck:


Departure was made on a cold, windy day in the Burren. Moving slowly and smoothly was challenging under such conditions, as was shooting the video. Given how grumpy we both were, we were pleased that the piece came out as well as it did! It was cold and the light was fading. In post, Stephen tried to emphasizee that feeling

In the Burren
Video still: Stephen Buck

Videos from France and Italy

Corps et Terre

I wanted to make a piece that honored the workers of the grape harvest. We were invited to Domaine de la Tronque, an organic vineyard near Gaillac, France. At first Dawn worked with the vendangeurs (harvesters) for a few days and then abstracted some of their movements into choreography. She also became a mysterious vine lady and made another appearance as the woman in white. We chose to keep the French spoken on the job and at the table as the sonic environment for the piece.

Dawn ina vineyard
Video still: Stephen Buck


Thank you to Claude and Chantal Leduc for welcoming us to Domaine de la Tronque and letting us make our videos in their vineyard.

Merci à Claude et Chantal Leduc pour la bienvenue à Domaine de la Tronque et pour nous avons donné la permission de faire nos vidéos dans leur vigne.

Dawn in a Vineyard
Video still: Stephen Buck


Made on the same sabbatical trip as Irish Trilogy and Corps et Terre, I also wanted to honor the workers in the olive harvest in Sicily. Here they were all men. Instead of using their movements as sources for choreography, we kept many clips of their actual work, threading them together with the woman in white walking down the row of olive trees. Watch also for a few mysterious appearances of a character in the olive trees.

Dawn in a Olive Grove
Video still: Stephen Buck


Sunday morning on the rooftop terrace. We directed nothing. We just shot and edited later, taking out some rough Sicilian language.

Truck Loading
Video still: Stephen Buck

Stairs and Walks


This walk home, one of a series, takes place in Marrakesh. It is a combination of clips of Dawn walking back to our B&B and a video Stephen shot as he did the walk by himself. As Stephen edited the two together the piece became a take on the dharma path where serenity and “monkey mind” compete with each other. A colleague of Dawn’s, John Holland, allowed us to use his music.

Dawn walking in Marrakesh
Video still: Stephen Buck


The video was made in the living room of an Airbnb apartment in which we rented a bedroom for a week. The stairway called out for a site-specific piece. Cristina, the owner, was Italian, so we named it Scalinata.

Dawn on a stairway
Video still: Stephen Buck


Set in Guanajuato, Mexico, our home this time was 300’ higher than the main part of town which sits at 6,500 feet above sea level. Stephen likes to shoot at night. We shot one night all the clips from behind the walker going uphill, and second night from in front of the walker looking back. A third and fourth night, we shot all the “other character” moments, again played by Dawn, although Stephen has a four-second cameo role in this piece.

Video still: Stephen Buck


The piece was started as a contrasting idea to Dawn's Video Poem. I wanted to make work in cities and use music. It was shot on two different nights. On the second night, I asked Dawn to "wait". Of course, they added the overhead flags during the intervening day to mess up continuity. I was experimenting with camera placement. All the zooming and panning were done in post.I got "Talking Hands" CD when Dawn and I went to the CD release party in Berlin at Cafe Tasso. I started working with Pitch and Toss after I made a couple of rough cuts and to my delight the video and music seemed to talk to each other.

Dawn on a Bridge in Florence
Video still: Stephen Buck


The first in a series of pieces that Stephen wanted to make about walking “home.” This home was in the old city of Menton, France, on the Mediterranean coast, very close to Italy. The music is by Simon Kanzler, a young jazz musician whose CD opening party we later attended in Berlin.

Dawn climbing through Menton
Video still: Stephen Buck

Earlier Videos

Silent Video/Movement Poems

Body of Water begins with single channel projections on three screens showing several silent video-movement poems made in different parts of the world, including the coast of Maine, Kyoto, Japan, Westwood, Massachusetts and the Ligurean coast of Italy. These short site-specific videos envision the human presence as an integrated, non-dominant part of Nature. The following three were shot at three temples in Kyoto with the assistance of a grant from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Foundation.

Dawn in a Pool of Water
Video still: Stephen Buck

Documentation of Stage Performances in Video Projection Environments

Secret Laughs

When Peter DiMuro, Director of the Dance Complex, asked me to be a 2019 CATALYST choreographer, I remembered how much I enjoyed performing in From the Horse’s Mouth in 2017. That piece is a structured improvisation for about twenty people, celebrating various dance communities across the country. Accepting Peter’s invitation to do six performances in three weeks in January (yikes!), I wanted to give myself the challenge to create a structured improvisation including live music and poetry. I also wanted a video projection environment to be central to the work, as it has been for my work since 2007. So I asked three people I have known and collaborated with intermittently for decades to join me in this adventure: master improviser, Olivier Besson, legendary musician/vocalist/mover, Stan Strickland, and my partner in art and life, Stephen Buck for projections.

Dawn and Olivier
Photo: Bill Parsons/Maximal Image


Body of Water is a two part video installation. It begins with single channel projections on three screens showing several silent video-movement poems made in different parts of the world, including the coast of Maine, Kyoto, Japan, Westwood, Massachusetts and the Ligurean coast of Italy. These short site-specific videos envision the human figure at a small scale or more embedded in our marine/terrestrial environment, thus imagining a better balance between the two.

Dawn dancing
Photo: Julie Chen


The choreography looks at the idea of "self" in relation to the body, gender, trans-gender, and aging.

Dawn and Katya
Video still: Stephen Buck


Making what we believe to be conscious choices is one of the definers of being human. Up/down, left/right, open/close, go/stay, active/still, mother/artist, grandmother/teacher, spouse/free spirit, productive/introspective…These various aspects of being in the world are sometimes in stark contrast to each other and sometimes harmonious. How do we create synthesis from chaos? At the deepest level, how do we apprehend "self/other" as the essential "one?" The structure of the choreography (live and video) references five classes of complexity, as cited below by Katarina.

Dawn in Projections
Photo: Jim Kaye

If I Were You

This was a commission by the Boston University dance program. Wishing to reflect on the Buddhist idea that none of us is completely separate from each other, I started working with video projections on the bodies of the dancers. Choosing two very different dancers, by both gender and race. We made clips of them that enabled us to project one dancer's image on the other's body. This was the first time that Stephen helped me with the video concept by working with Isadora software to manipulate the video images' scale and location.

Dancers in Projections
Video still: Bill Parsons/
Maximal Image

Photo Call in Paris

Photo Call

Photocall photo
Photo: Juan Manuel Abellá