Remote Dancing (2004)
Remote Dancing is a video installation where the interaction of a viewer and an on-screen dancer becomes an intimate pas de deux.
Developed in collaboration with choreographer Rosemary Lee the installation consists of a number of enclosed corridors. The viewer enters alone at to find a virtual figure waiting at the far end, as they move towards the screen the figure dances towards them, as they move back the figure reverses, dancing backwards. If they pause, the figure pauses...and so a duet unfolds.
The work explores 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 sets up a dynamic relationship where the viewer's movement affects, in a detailed and subtle manner, the movement and proximity of an on-screen dancer. The result is much the same as moving towards and away from a mirror but in this instance what is reflected is not the image of the participant but that of another person executing a sequence of movement.
One of the key aspects of Remote Dancing is that the viewer's dynamics are mapped onto the pre-set vocabulary of the recorded dancer. The viewer cannot control kinds of movement the dancer executes, only the speed and direction in which they occur, in this way the dancer cannot be totally controlled by the viewer and effectively retains their individuality. This can be seen in each of the six dancers the viewer encounters as they journey through the different corridors through the variation in age from 8 years through to 70 and dance styles such as hip-hop, flamenco or contemporary.
As such neither participant nor dancer owns the dance, the resulting duet is formed as a composite choreography between the two.
This piece was reviewed in The Guardian on August 9th 2004.
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
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). Touring was supported through Arts Council England.
The project was supported by Artsadmin
(2nd photo of performers in Remote Dancing by Pau Ross)