Technology in dance takes many forms. Whether it is used as decoration, to delve deeper into the story being told, to transform the space, or to interact live with the dancers, video projections are becoming common in the contemporary dance circuit. Some companies project video onto screens or a set while others project onto the dancers themselves. Troika Ranch even developed its own software to work with called Isadora. Below is a playlist taking us on a tour of technology in contemporary dance. I start with companies that use video as an aside to the dancing, and progress onwards to companies whose performances rely solely on, or revolve around, the dancer's interactions with the technology: [these are only examples of the interesting work these companies create using technology!]
1. La La La Human Steps, "Amjad." Video projections are not the focus of the work, but occur throughout the piece on circular screens.
2. Nederlands Dans Theater, "Lab 15." Video projected on a large screen in the back adds to the action.
3. Zoe/Juniper, "The Devil You Know Is Better Than The Devil You Don't." In the opening sequence of this piece, Zoe dances behind a scrim with projections mimicking snow.
4. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, "Origine." You have to wait until the end of this clip to see how Belgium choreographer Sidi Larbi used technology in this work... Wish I could have found the full version...
5. Pearson Widrig Dance Theater, "Sayonara, Dear." The youtube description says it best: "Jamie James Wengers Japanese chiyogami video (designed in collaboration with Pearson and Widrig) sets a stylish backdrop for the choreography, and together they create a world of exploring what is hidden and what is revealed."
6. Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, "Blind Date." Text is included into the video projections in this work melding the literal with the visceral.
7. Lucy Guerin Inc., "Aether." This piece integrates video projection on a screen and on the dancers themselves to examine "the overwhelming sophistication of contemporary communication and the problems that still remain with expressing ourselves in simple human interactions." --www.lucyguerin.com
8. Bebe Miller Company, "Necessary Beauty." Video Projection on two screens upstage transport the audience into different landscapes in which the dancers' stories are told.
9. Kinodance Company, "Secret Streams." The film in this piece transforms the movement. "Secret Streams is an intermedia performance investigating the essence of motion - the unifying power between dance, film, and kinetic sculpture." -- www.kinodance.org
10. Rachid Ouramdane, "A l’oeil nu." This is a project that "explores a specific location through an evocative game of cinematographic memory. The team is made of artists coming from different disciplines. They stay in residency for a month and by using the cinematographic grammar, they transform the location. They have to work on the idea of 'presence' through a videographic treatment. The aim is to maintain the doubt between the live performance and the film, to play with what seems to be and what it could be in order to create some intermediate states of 'presence'. Creating some bonds with the image, working on trying to join two realities: the filmic space and performance space." --www.rachidouramdane.com
11. Troubleyn/Jan Fabre, "Angel of Death." Inspired by Andy Warhol, this piece is an encounter of three spirits and explores gender, transformation, double identity and contradiction. "Jan Fabre foresees a new confrontation with the text in the form of a live, animated video installation. It consists of four monumental video walls set up symmetrically in a square. Inside the square, seating is set up on all sides that runs down to a small stage on which the Croation dancer Ivana Jozic, enters into dialogue with what she sees on the screens, which is a film of William Forsythe dancing and reciting the text of Angel of Death in the anatomical museum in Montpellier. These images communicate with each other between individual screens: they dissolve and show various camera angles or points of view. The second interaction will arise by the intervention of the performer in the middle, who will respond to the video sequence in language and gesture." --www.troubleyn.be
12. BoanDanz Action. "False Testimony." Real-time video feed is employed to show the audience what the dancers are doing behind a box placed onstage.
13. Bridgman/Packer Dance, "Memory Bank." Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer produce beautifully timed and coordinated video projections to interact with their live dancing. The live performers actually interact with their time-delayed video images!
14. Troika Ranch, "16 [R]evolutions." Taking things one step further, Troika Ranch uses technology that creates images manipulated by the dancers movements onstage. "Live video camera tracking captures the dancers movements and generates real-time interactive 3D imagery." --www.troikaranch.org
15. Chunky Move, "Mortal Engine." A dance/video/music/laser "performance using movement and sound responsive projections to portray an ever-shifting, shimmering world in which the limits of the human body are an illusion... Kinetic energy fluidly metamorphoses from the human figure into light image, into sound and back again. Choreography is focused on movement of unformed beings in an unfamiliar landscape searching to connect and evolve in a constant state of becoming....Robin Fox’s laser and video images have a brutal and direct relationship to the sound they illustrate and when experienced exclusively, their connection with dance is not immediately apparent. When fed information of the dancers’ movements however, they become a powerful extension to the performers’ bodies and their own capacity for explosive brute force or controlled subtlety." --www.chunkymove.com
ENJOY! PS: If you know of other dance companies that use innovative technology in conjunction with movement please respond with a video post or a link to their site! Thanks!