[dance-tech] Re: March-April Discussion forum on dance/performance and participation

  • From: Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 19:17:40 +0000

thank you Sandra, this is very evocative and adds to the reflections we are
collecting here on performance-participartion

any responses, please?

[ Sandra Mathern-Smith schreibt]

One of the most engaged experiences I have had recently as an audience member/
assister was in Pavel Zustiak's The Painted Bird - Part II Admist. We entered a
room, could stand anywhere. Performers, projections, light, all drew attention,
stimulated movement, and the viewers 'learned' how to interact as a group with
the work, while making personal choices of how to see, what and where. I was
touched, stimulated, was both a part of the work and an observer
simultaneously. And realized in process the power of both the individual and
the group in making change, having an impact. There was clear intention,
definitely audience manipulation, but also a willingness to let go of the work
to a degree, the experience of the audience, shaped by the audience. Funny, as
I write it does remind me a little of my own work Contained (2006,DRHA
Dartington). Pavel's work is immersive, an installation, and in my experience
one of the more successful at using technology and dance to push boundaries of
presentation and audience interaction.



Sandra Mathern-Smith
Department of Dance
Denison University
Granville, OH 43023

On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 6:03 PM, Johannes Birringer
<Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

"where did i think i was going?"

that, I believe, was a title of a performance piece by Tommy de Frantz (you
mentioned - "yes I am also reading and thinking about these issues -
performances of CANE this weekend, spark an interest in re-thinking involvement
of audience in live processing 'on stage;" -- hmm, I could not find anything
about 'Cane' - is this music by Jason Moran? along with Ronald K.
Brown/Evidence Dance Company?). It was good to hear from Tommy, Bud Blumenthal
and John Collingswood, and John's/Tanja Raman's/Moon's recent "audience
development research project" of course seemed to focus very much on some of
the questions and challenges presented earlier by our participants and thus
makes us think about not only live participation and 'processing' but also the
nature of "improvisation" required (in social choreography) to engage audience
or ask them to co-create, to engage, to "lean forward" --

and I feel that Jeannette Ginslov's amazingly rich and detailed response to
questions deserves a lot more feedback from us, as did Nilufer's long letter
and Yacov's detailed sketch of the neuroaesthetics of his choreographed piece
(here the audience was not mentioned but I had hoped that Diego or others
interested in the neuroscience/dance connection would pick up the threads, and
pose new queries....

So, what I note, at the moment (picking up from Bud) is the enjoyment here, for
the time being, of "sharing time" -- and that is significant and we are
grateful to hear about practices.

But you must have noted that I was also encouraging us, the community at large,
to debate, to interrogate, to reflect and respond, rather than just describing
new work or telling each other what we do and where our videos are.
I believe this space here can be provoking thought exchange via conversation.

So back to where you thought you were going......

Jeannette, Nilufer, John, Joumana, and all of you out there who have created
inter-actional scenarios, may I ask whether you spoke to your audiences (after)
and found out whether they liked to be "co-creators in a dance experiment,
using a custom web app, they share stories....." (John), or to lean forward and
be touched under the skin at their perhaps hidden somatic layers of (trauma)
experience....... as Jeannette put it, >>triggering the viewer's somatic
memories or archives. Archiving and triggering somatic memory within AR then
becomes "a means of creating social connections and moving outwards." Somatic
archiving, retrieval and the sharing of memories co-mingle with with the social
and cultural>>

Perhaps such triggering was also intended by Nilüfer's verbatim theatre? John,
what had googling to do with your audiences's stories? what were they asked to

why do you want your audience to co-create? or assist? do we not all want to
touch our audiences, or provoke them? or entertain them maybe, or seduce them?
But if they become assisters, then who is the
one that is touched? do we want to be touched, helped, soothed?

(I read this today, Kath O'Donnell said something reminded her "of the french
use of "assist" for being in the audience, which i like a lot. audience as
"assisters" (rather than "assistants" which is a bit hierarchical) (also
"assisters" has a nice feminist touch to it ;) .....

so you friends and assisters out there, join...!

Johannes Birringer

[Bud schreibt]


I’ve been part of this list for quite a few years now and am encouraged that it
still exists.
Sharing time:

I tend to alternate dance works and dance works with technology. I’ve been at
it for about 25 years.
I’ll share a link or two for your interest.

Last work that I made that tried to include everything in the universe
including the kitchen sink as well as live photons. -
clip/trailer on bottom of page

next project in preparation is “Leaves of Grass” concerning plant ecology,
interaction, love, society -
blog : http://www.bud-hybrid.org/blog/leaves-of-grass/
graphic presentation :
LOG français:
Log English:

oh yeah there is DANCERS! that is a utopian online and installation and filming
project that puts dancers of any style or technique centerstage so that we may
appreciate the gardians of the sacred flame of dance :-) -

6min intro to project :

8 min documentary on the shooting sessions :

Finally you can go to the DANCERS! website and explore among the 175 solos of
two minutes. You can search among solos using two different methods : standard
criteria or using the “relational navigator” that uses computer analysis of the
solos in order to group them according to similarity (serious computer analysis
involved here). You may send email to the dancers, rate and comment on them and
even record a number of solos in an order that you can share as a playlist.

I hope you find some of this interesting and useful.

On 01 Apr 2015, at 15:17, Thomas F. DeFrantz

friends, I'm glad to read about the work being undertaken all over. it's surely
time for a conference where creators share the 'under the hood' of various
dance-tech experiments in presentations or posters/telepresence. so many
interesting projects from the last five years! can we assemble, maybe next
summer during the American Dance Festival, to share some recent approaches to

after leaving MIT in 2011, I'm still teaching 'performance and technology' at
Duke University; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxwGdMeIgPM
Jaime del Valle will be here with the Metabody project next week;
we could likely host something simple in 2016 that would allow us to share
design ideas.

best, in motion, tommy

Thomas F. DeFrantz

-----Original Message-----

Hello Everyone,

this discussion is fascinating, thankyou to everyone who is contributing
examples of their work and information about their practice.

the idea of using technology to share the creative process with the audience
was the subject of a recent audience development research project undertaken by
myself as artist, Tanja Raman as choreographer (together we are known as
TaikaBox) and MOON - a digital design studio.

we created a hybrid system (choreographic/digital) that enables an audience to
become co-creators in a dance experiment. using a custom web app, they share
stories that become the source material for what happens on stage. using a
combination of improvisation, choreographic processes and google, we guide them
through the creation of movement sequences based on their stories, soliciting
their choices regarding how the movement and environment develop. we relinquish
a certain amount of control over the creative process, and - hopefully - the
audience feels engaged, educated and stimulated by what they experience.

the project website is at http://www.pleaseswitchon.com/

one iteration of the research was a one-hour event performed simultaneously for
a studio audience, and online collaborators who were presented with the same
tools as the in-house audience. the online experience is archived at

all the best,

John Collingswood

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