Floating Departures (trailer)

Dance Performance

Excited to share the trailer for Floating Departures, a new dance film I created during lockdown with Steve DiPaola in collaboration with Alexandra Pickrell and Roya Pishvaei.

Created remotely, recorded with smartphones and transformed with AI.

Floating Departures is a dance film and meditation created in response to life during the pandemic. It was created remotely during lockdown, January-May 2021, and recorded with smartphones. Using everyday objects, AI technologies and video editing techniques, we transform our spaces into new worlds and navigate through contrasting layers of reality. Based on the performers’ personal experiences we explore cyclical patterns and points of departure in movement and life. In this work, we bring together dance movement, poetry and painterly styles. Although we created this work while in separate spaces, these artistic elements were developed iteratively, in close relation to one another over the course of five months. 

New Quarantine Technique Dance: On | Off the Grid

Dance Performance

My quarantine technique dance On | Off the Grid premiered December 4th, 2020 as part of the online dance show Interleaving: SCA Repertory Dancers Go Digital, presented by the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts.

It was created remotely, recorded with smartphones and is an exploration of AI collaboration. I realized through making this work how my interdisciplinary research at the SFU School of Interactive Arts + Technology has strengthened my ability to create work during this time of quarantine. The work is inspired by music created by Professor Philippe Pasquier and Professor Steve DiPaola’s AI Painterly Modules. I also collaborated with Ethan Soutar-Rau to create AI tools that can support remote choreographic exploration.

I hope you enjoy!

Please note that sections of this video contains flashing and strobing images that may affect certain individuals

On | Off the Grid (Trailer)

Dance Performance

My new dance work, On | Off the Grid premieres on December 4, 2020 at 6PM as part of the Simon Fraser University performance Interleaving: SCA Repertory Dancers Go Digital.

RSVP Online: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/interleaving-sca-repertory-dancers-go-digital-registration-128069620683

Created by Shannon Cuykendall in collaboration with Sydney Bluck, Nicole Dreher, Desiree James, Sarah Kennedy, Natalia Martineau, Myah McCarthy, Taylor Noel, Alexandra Pickrell, Roya Pishvaei, and Bronwyn Pollock.

Music: Monorail by Monobor

Artwork and Visual Effects created with Steve DiPaola’s ‘AI Painterly Modules’ and Shannon Cuykendall and Ethan Soutar-Rau’s ‘On | Off the Grid PoseNet Experiments.’

Video Editor: Lara Abadir

In On|Off the Grid, I question the use of a grid as an organizing structure in the design of many technologies, everyday functional objects, and most recently a prominent layout for online dance classes and performances. The repetitive linear design of many human-made grids contrasts with the repetitive, spiral patterns often seen in nature. The grid is not just a visual element apparent in these everyday technologies and objects, but a structure of thinking that frames our beliefs and societal structures.To create this work, dancers collaborated with AI systems that transformed their movements into poetry, paintings and grids. Regardless whether the grid is visible, all of these technological systems utilize a grid in their design principles. In this time of quarantine, many of our collaborations and connections with others are mediated by digital and AI technologies. AI is not human, but human biases and beliefs are incorporated in its creation and they become much more explicit when we see from the perspective of an AI system. In this work, I explore with the dancers how our interactions with these technologies shape our understanding of ourselves and each other.

Interleaving: SCA Repertory Dancers Go Digital
Artistic Director: Shannon Cuykendall
Choreography by: Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Shannon Cuykendall and Emmalena Fredriksson
Dancers: Sydney Bluck, Nicole Dreher, Desiree James, Sarah Kennedy, Natalia Martineau, Myah McCarthy, Taylor Noel, Alexandra Pickrell, Roya Pishvaei, Bronwyn Pollock
Music by: Sebastián Ortiz Cruz and Philippe Pasquier