• Body Responsive // Set Design For Dance.


    Posted on 30th October, by Dana Tomić Hughes in art, installations, set design + styling. 1 Comment

    As an architect by day and a contemporary dancer by night (the term “dancer” is used a little loosely here but hey, just roll with it) body responsive set design hits a sweet spot like few things do. When executed well, interactive set design can give and take stimuli from the dancer, acting as the dynamic, living other half of a duet.

    Here is a small selection of works where space, dancer, designer and choreographer explosively collide to facilitate an exciting exchange between the body and space.


    rAndom International for Future Self.

     

    rAndom International for Future Self  by Wayne MmcGregor of Random Dance.

    Using a grid of LEDs and motion sensors, this installation glows in response to the dancer’s movements. The pulses of light create a glowing, three dimensional mirror of the body. Watch the video (below). So much awesomeness I may well explode.


    Rain Room by rAndom International.

     

    Rain Room by rAndom International with choreographic interventions by Wayne McGregor of Random Dance.

    rAndom International have simulated continuous rainfall within a 100sqm internal space. As the body enters, the rain parts into a circular clearing to keep the body dry. This dry void follows the body as it travels, allowing you to experience the sensation of walking through rain without ever getting wet. Is it just me or is this ridiculously clever both in concept and execution?

    This installation is now showing at The Barbican in London and will play host a series of short choreographic pieces between now and February next year. Too bad rAndom International didn’t invent teleportation while they were at it. Oh the things I would do to see this…


    Reuben Margolin for Chunky Move’s Connected.


    Photo by Jeff Busby. Pictured Alisdair Macindoe and Marnie Palomares.


    Photo by Jeff Busby. Pictured Harriet Ritchie, Stephanie Lake, Marnie Palomares, Alisdair Macindoe and Joseph Simons.

     

    Reuben Margolin for Chunky Move’s Connected, under former creative director Gideon Obarzanek.

    This suspended kinetic sculpture is operated by the dancers’ limbs. Like a marionette, the strings extend from the body to encourage the planar sculpture to stretch, compress, invert and ripple. The comparably manual, lo-fi nature of the approach just makes this all the more thrilling for me. Watch the video (below) – If you’re impatient, fast forward to the 1min mark to hit the epicentre of awesome.


    Frieder Weiss in collaboration with Chunky Move.


    Photo by Artur Radeki. Pictured Kristy Ayre.


    Photo by Artur Radeki. Pictured Kristy Ayre.


    Photo by Artur Radeki. Pictured Kristy Ayre.


    Photo by Andrew Curtis. Pictured Harriet Ritchie.

     

    Interactive software creator, Frieder Weiss in collaboration with Chunky Move for Glow and Mortal Engine, under former creative director Gideon Obarzanek.

    Frieder Weiss designed a series of different lighting conditions for both Glow and Mortal Engine. Using motion sensors, darkness and illumination trace the dancer as she travels across the stage. I like to think of this as light painting the stage with the entirety of the body.

    Watch the video (below) – it is sublimely beautiful. This is one of my favourite youtube clips of all time.

     

    It truly amazes me how brilliant minds from so many different disciplines can intersect, share a vision and create magic like this. What power teams, hey?

    Til next time!

    -Ella.


    [Images from Glow, Connected and Mortal Engine courtesy of Chunky Move. Images of Rain Room and Future Self via rAndom International.]





  • One Response to “Body Responsive // Set Design For Dance.”

    1. Alex says:

      Interdisciplinary always leads to amazing results. To me, this is proved again by creations like this.



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