[dance-tech] theory query

  • From: Tony Schultz <dance_plan@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006 19:50:24 -0500

Thanks Johannes, Marlon, Matt and Simon
I have a good reading list now so that should keep me busy for a bit.

Here is some of my thinking. Much of the work that incorporates dance and technology is characterized by a division of labor between dancers on one side technologists on the other. Troika Ranch is a perfect example. Mark Coniglio covers the technical work while Dawn Stoppiello produces the dancing. Though this is perhaps unavoidable I find it problematic.

These divisions of labor are accompanied by their own inherent power dynamics. In this situation dancers operate inside a system they may not fully understand. In addition, money going toward technology purchases is money not going to pay dancers. Isnt there a "zero sum game" aspect to this whole dynamic?

While we are on the issue of money...
This is a difficult practice to imagine outside of the setting of a large institution. The work is contingent on the power structures that make their funding possible. If the work undermines the power structures that make it possible then the work will cease to exist. Yes?

Just as breaking, electric boogaloo, krump, hyphie, etc, have emerged as powerful and relevant dance forms outside institutional structures; can we expect an emergence of some kind of digitally mediated/enhanced dance? Will this new form be as culturally significant as the above mentioned forms of (for lack of a better phrase) "street dance"? Will it be characterized by a division of labor.

Will this emergence need a vanguard or manifest "organically"? Will the practitioners care whether you refer to their work as "sensor dancing" or "dance technology"?

Sorry if this seems to be a change of subject. In my mind these issues are all linked together. Hopefully this issue is not too provocative to be addressed.

Looking forward to responses.

Tony Schultz

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