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

https://www.sfu.ca/sca/events—news/events/interleaving/

Interleaving: SCA Repertory Dancers Go Digital

Dance Performance

This Fall 2020 term, I am the artistic director for the SFU School for Contemporary Arts Repertory Dancers’ online performance, Interleaving. I am also choreographing a new work, On |Off the Grid (see below for a description). The performance will be streamed online for free on Friday, December 4, 2020 at 6PM pacific time

RSVP here and see below for more information about the performance. #SCAInterleaving

This Fall 2020, SCA repertory dancers go digital to create Interleaving, an online performance presenting 3 quarantine technique dances. All of the works in this performance were created remotely. We rehearsed and connected with one another through online platforms such as Zoom and Padlet. Dancers not only performed the choreography, but also often recorded themselves dancing, found locations to perform, and set up their spaces for a performance.

A common thread through all of the works featured in this performance is examining our changing relationships with ourselves and others during this era of COVID-19 and social upheaval. As many dance performances turn to online platforms, quarantine technique also puts into question the very nature of dance. What does it mean when our bodily connections and movement are mediated by technology? 

We invite audience members to explore this question with us and to follow the SCA’s Instagram and Interleaving Facebook event page for a behind-the-scenes look at our remote creation processes.

Program

Fourth Quarter
Charlotte Boye-Christensen

This work has grown out of this current moment in time and the pandemic that we are all living through. It addresses themes of identity, isolation, and conversation. Who am I in this moment? Where am I and with whom?

Thank you to my generous and creatively and physically fearless cast. It has been inspiring and moving to be let into their homes and to have collaborated on this work with them

WIND EYE
Emmalena Fredriksson

The Old Norse meaning of the word windowis Wind Eye. Originally used to describea hole in the ceiling that would let in air to feed oxygen to the fire and create a path out for the smoke. In the spring of 2020 Covid-19 kept us inside our houses for months, looking out at the world through our windows, our phones and computers. For this creative process, I was curious if we could reverse that gaze. Exploring ideas of the outside looking in and the use of cameras and video to capture sensations and feelings in the moving body. If we invite the gaze in (both our own and that of the viewer), what fire does it feed and what is released? Through these questions and movement explorations, the desire to look back, to perform for the camera and the outside world, also grew. Perhaps as a way to own our experience and feel empowered in this uncertain time. The result of our process is Wind Eye, a 4min dance film that moves between dream-like and concrete realities. Through expansive and intimate movements the film connects four women in four different yet similar places, taking us beyond the screen and into an emotional landscape of the present time.  

On|Off the Grid
Shannon Cuykendall

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.

#SCAInterleaving


New Presentation about A Performer’s Perspective

Classes and Workshops, Dance Performance, Presentations, Research

I will present a talk about A Performer’s Perspective as part of the Laboratory of Dance/Dance as a Vantage Point Online Interdisciplinary Symposium.

This event is FREE and open to all. It will include online dance performances, panel discussions, a workshop led by Nita Little, as well as access to video presentations from researchers and artists around the world.

The presentation on A Performer’s Perspective will be available to view on YouTube and will also be discussed more as part of the live panel on Translating Dances on July 1st at 9am PDT.

Register here to receive access to YouTube video presentations (access beginning June 29), and to participate in the live conference events (July 1-3)

Please visit the website for more information about the schedule of events:

http://lab-dance.avant.edu.pl

 

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