DanceEast re-opens for live performance with Anti-Body premiere
- Credit: Alexander Whitley Company
The DanceHouse on Ipswich Waterfront, opens its doors to audiences again this week with the premiere of a new work from choreographer Alexander Whitley as he harnesses motion capture technology to explore the biological form of the human body.
He has spent lockdown crafting a spectacular new stage production, Anti-Body, which once again reflects his ‘genre-defying’ approach to dance.
The dancers perform together in a digitally enhanced space and asks the question: ‘Are organisms just algorithms? Is life just data processing?’
Renowned for creating ambitious, interdisciplinary, and thought-provoking work with innovation and digital technology at its core, Anti-Body is Whitley’s first new work for the stage since the Covid-19 pandemic and will preview at DanceEast on Friday, October 8, 2021.
Three performers appear on stage between large screens wearing costumes incorporating motion capture suits, isolated yet connected digitally in an interactive space.
Individually, as they start to move, their gestures are captured and projected on to the screens, filtered in real time through layers of striking motion responsive 3D visuals created by Unchartered Limbo Collective and accompanied by an electrifying score composed by 2021 Mercury Prize nominee Hannah Peel and music producer Kincaid.
This extraordinary ‘virtual dance’ allows each performer to interact with not only their own projected image, but those of the other dancers, symbolising the tensions between mind and body, containment, and connection.
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Alexander Whitley says: “I’m interested in the subject of the post-human or trans-human, which, in its most extreme form is the idea that we can download someone’s mind onto a computer chip.
"I find this both fascinating and completely absurd, but an example of digital technology’s tendency to dematerialise experience and pull us away from a reality grounded in the flesh. So, the piece asks questions and explores themes around what it means to exist in this hybrid, real/virtual world.”
Whitley is also currently developing Future Rites which takes the seminal ballet, The Rite Of Spring, into virtual reality (VR) for the first time in an immersive and collaborative performance experience combining AI with real-time animation to allow audiences to form part of the dance. Elements of the work will form part of the 2021 BFI London Film Festival Expanded programme on October 13-14.
You can book tickets for the premiere performance of Anti-Body at The Jerwood DanceHouse on Ipswich Waterfront at the DanceEast website