e-Dance: Relocating Choreographic Practice a New Modality for Performance and Documentation

Helen Bailey, Simon Buckingham-Shum, Sita Popat, Martin Turner

This paper identifies new practices and possibilities for dance and e-Science. It proposes methodologies for hybrid performance and documentation, utilising Grid-based technologies. The paper is particularly concerned with the nature of "location" in Access Grid distributed performance environments.

The research for this paper has emerged from e-Dance ( www.ahessc.ac.uk/e-dance), a two-year interdisciplinary project being undertaken by a UK-based team of practitioner/ academics from the fields of Dance and e-Science. e-Dance is funded by three UK Research Councils; the AHRC, EPSRC and JISC.

The e-Dance Project explores the Access Grid (AG), an on-line collaborative virtual environment, as a context for performance and documentation. In making use of recent advances in the visualisation of spatio-temporal structures and discourse, the project addresses two intersecting questions:

- What unique opportunities does the distributed AG environment provide for developing new approaches to choreographic process/composition and for capturing/modelling practice-led research?

- How can choreographic knowledge and sensibility enable e-Science practice to make its applications more usable within performance/ arts practice-led research?

e-Dance is concerned with the sense of the 'located' in the non-co-located environment of AG. The creative potential of AG is not as a neutral location but as a multiple, faceted clustering of frames, planes, perspectives and positions that collide and interact by virtue of their sheer proximity. The 'relocation' of embodied improvisation/composition into this new space enables, indeed fore-grounds, a critical engagement with the subjective experience of 'place'.

Like Bolter and Grusin's "remediation" , 'relocation' provides a similar semantic movement or procedure. Yet, this project is not only concerned with the conceptual/creative/idiomatic shift from one discipline to another but also with shifts in the substance/context/effect/affect of space. In other words, it addresses the reflexive interplay of space and event (as distinct from form and content) that is so significant to the composition of both dance and subjectivity. The relocating of choreographic practice into the virtual distributed environment of AG collides and elides narrative, memorial, embodied, experiential, perspectival, geometric, socio-political, geographic space and spatialities.

The innovative nature of the project is in the reflexive relationship between the disciplines established in the collaborative interdisciplinary methodologies that have been developed by the team. These methodologies support a speculative, playful, engagement with the technology that enables a simultaneous critique of the systems under exploration.

Documentation of practice will be presented as a key component of the presentation.

2008, Singapore | home | site map | travel info | registration