Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Singularity Project Jan 14 2013

For our first rehearsal on this new project—Singularity—I started off by sitting down with a group of dancers from Webster University to discuss the concepts for the piece and the processes I intend to use for this exploration. Singularity—as I am using it—has two meanings.

First, singularity is used to mean an once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. In this sense, it is the idea of any performance being unique and unrepeatable. Drawing from theories of relativity, I want to explore this concept where the audience members actually impact the unfolding of the dance—like Schrodinger’s Cat. My intention is to explore, through the use of interactive digital media, the audience’s participation and impact upon a live performance.

The second use of singularity is the idea from Ray Kurzweil that biology and technology will merge at a point in the near future. Now, I am not as much as a futurist as he, but this does lead me to think about the dichotomy between what we tend to deem as natural versus unnatural—the organic versus the mechanic. And, if technology is indeed a natural extension for humankind (an outgrowth of our rational, tool-using minds), then isn’t technology organic too? Is the split between the way we look at biology and technology a fallacy?

Movement Research
In the first rehearsal, I gave the dancers task-based instructions for improvisation. Drawing from Developmental Movement Patterns, the dancers explored ideas of breath connectivity in a group, in pairs/trios, and in solos. They also explored Core-Distal connectivity and Homologous (Upper/Lower) connectivity in the same combinations: group, pairs/trios, and solos.

A Glimpse at Early Raw Data
The video clip attached includes some footage of those first explorations.


  1. As a dancer a part of this endeavor, it was very enjoyable to use improvisation as a start off point. It made it easier to connect more with the other dancers and get to know how one another likes to move in their own individual ways. I am excited to continue this process and see where the piece ends up, it has a very promising start with the choreographer's choices and dancers at hand.

  2. This first rehearsal was very exciting. After getting centered, everyone seemed ready to jump in to wherever James was going to lead us. In the past I have been very hesitant to dive head first at a contact improvisation exploration (literally), but this group of dancers in particular felt like they were open and willing to share any and every connection made. It was an extremely comforting and productive way to feel this piece from its roots and its view on the versatility of "singularity".