My obsession with demolition is more than documenting the changing urban form, but also watching the demolition as ballet. The machine operators have the ability to choreograph incredibly precise movements with equipment that sometimes extends 14 stories high. The machines talk to one another, through movement and the sound of the horns as they call to each other. I learned to anticipate these movements, camera ready.
Eventually I realized I was documenting a ballet of machines, the space they created between the concrete, the rebar and the dust.
“When Canadian choreographer and filmmaker Anne Troake was passing by a construction site one day, she observed the incredible orchestration with which the enormous machines moved, a special kind of mechanical choreography. So she wondered what it would be like to actually choreograph these giant dancers into a graceful ballet. The result was Pretty Big Dig — a poetic 2002 short film that articulates the assimilation of machines in the visual language of dance, with Troake’s characteristic undertone of humor and irreverence”. Maria Papova @brainpicker
This ABC clip about the project is the last remnant of the film online. http://youtu.be/JYzAJviXr0Y