Remote Dancing (2004)

Remote Dancing

Remote Dancing

Overview

Remote Dancing is a video installation where the interaction of a viewer and an on-screen dancer becomes an intimate pas de deux.

Further Details

Developed in collaboration with choreographer Rosemary Lee the installation consisted of a number of enclosed corridors. The viewer entered alone to find a virtual figure waiting at the far end, as they move towards the screen the figure danced towards them, as they moved back the figure reversed, dancing backwards. If they paused, the figure paused, thus a duet unfolded.

The work explored the linear relationship between two moving bodies in space: a member of the public (the viewer) and a “virtual dancer”. Through ultrasonic motion tracking technology and high quality real-time video playback, the piece set up a dynamic relationship where the viewer’s movement affected, in a detailed and subtle manner, the movement and proximity of an on-screen dancer. The result was much the same as moving towards and away from a mirror but in this instance what was reflected was not the image of the participant but that of another person executing a sequence of movement.

One of the key aspects of Remote Dancing was that the viewer’s dynamics were mapped onto the preset vocabulary of the recorded dancer. The viewer could not control the kinds of movement the dancer executed, only the speed and direction in which they occurred, in this way the dancer retained their individuality as they could not be totally controlled by the viewer’s intervention. This could be seen in each of the six dancers the viewer encountered as they journeyed through the different corridors through the variation in age from 8 years through to 70 and different dance styles such as hip-hop, flamenco or contemporary.
Neither participant nor dancer owned the dance, the resulting duet was formed as a composite choreography between the two.

This piece was reviewed in The Guardian on August 9th 2004.

Video Documentation

Presentations

2009: Noorderzon festival, Groningen, Netherlands
2007: New Moves festival, Roubaix, France
2007: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales
2006: Centre National de la Dance, Paris
2006: Quay gallery, Isle of Wight
2005: Bunker arts, Slovenia
2005: Nott Dance Festival, Nottingham
2005: Spring Dance Festival, Utrecht
2004: Royal Festival Hall, London
2004: Metropole Galleries, Folkstone
2004: Lyric Hammersmith, London
2004: ICA, London

Credits

This large-scale interactive project was funded through the Arts Council England’s Capture fund was the outcome of research in collaboration with choreographer Rosemary Lee (RESCEN).
The composer was Graeme Miller.
Touring was supported through Arts Council England.
The project was supported by Artsadmin
(2nd image of silhouettes by Pau Ross)