High Concept Labs hosts an evening of performance constructed within a post-digital context. Curated and produced by Cynthia Bond of CreativeBond, body ± brings together three dance works by visual artists and choreographers interrogating technology as it both supplements and supplants the moving body. Beverages courtesy of Lagunitas Brewing Company.
Program includes works by James Moreno, Benjamin Rosenthal, Christine Shallenberg, and Carson Reiners
human, next uses dancers, mobile monitors, and video projection to perform the convergences and differences between virtual and physical bodies, situating embodiment as a techno-hybrid condition. Virtual bodies appear on three wireless video monitors, the cyclorama, and the bodies of the dancers. The dancers move, obstruct, and reconfigure the monitors as they compete with the digital bodies for control of the performance space. Video projections for the piece use images of the dancers’ bodies produced with 3D scanning technology. These images are manipulated, reformulated, and interjected into virtual scenarios that draw from video gaming, internet culture, and computer graphics. human-next.com
Approximate Dialogue is a performance installation addressing transmission and communication across a physical divide. Two dancers perform an improvised duet in two adjacent spaces. Their movements are traced using motion capture technology and translated into projected light drawings. These are transmitted live between the two spaces and projected on the cyclorama. The performers respond to these dance drawings as representations of their partner’s movement. This allows for a displaced duet between the two movers, mediated by the technology’s translation of their movements into lines.
The Call of the Void is a multi-disciplinary dance-theatre work which follows four performers who embark on a journey through a sea projection to tell of their desire to respond to the call of the void: the sudden inexplicable impulse to jump when in a high place. The piece engages the tension between the literal and metaphorical desire to jump, whether from pleasure or pain. The act of jumping is also an attempt to fly: is it wrong to want to fly?
James Moreno is a choreographer and dance studies scholar. Moreno has danced with Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT), J. Parker Copley Dance Company, and Ann Arbor Dance Works, performing the choreography of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, José Limón, Lucinda Childs, and Zvi Gotheiner, among many others. Moreno has choreographed for many dance companies and projects. He was co-director for Out of the Wings Dance Company and assistant director for Tablado Dance Company. Moreno holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. His scholarship investigates stagings of race and gender in mid-century U.S. modern dance, with a focus on José Limón and Erick Hawkins. Moreno has published in Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies and Dance Chronicle: Studies in Dance and the Related Arts, and is a contributor to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics. Moreno was Visiting Professor of Dance at the University of Panamá in Panamá City, Panamá and Visiting Guest Artist at the National School of Dance of Panamá, and is a Fulbright Scholar. Moreno is Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Kansas where he teaches critical dance studies, modern dance technique, choreography, and dance for the camera. jamesmorenodance.com
Benjamin Rosenthal holds an MFA in Art Studio from the University of California, Davis and a BFA in Art (Electronic Time-Based Media) from Carnegie Mellon University. His work has been exhibited internationally in such venues as the Stuttgarter Filmwinter (Stuttgart, Germany), FILE Electronic Language International Festival (São Paulo, Brazil), Vanity Projects (New York, NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina (Novi Sad, Serbia), and online via the Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum (Is.CaM), among others. Pulling from a variety of fields in the humanities and sciences, his work questions the authenticity of our physical experience in an age where the boundaries between reality and the virtual become indistinguishable. Rosenthal is Assistant Professor of Expanded Media, in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Kansas where he teaches Video Art, Performance Art, and interdisciplinary practices. benjaminrosenthal.com
Christine Shallenberg is a multimedia artist whose work ranges in scale from performative physical encounters to mediated light and sound installations to choreography for audience. She recently completed an artist residency at Links Hall, during which she pursued research into the physical, spiritual, electrical and historical aspects of grounding (To The Ground, 2015). She has also recently shown work in lighting installation (the sweet/bitter, 2012), laser cut figures generated by digitally tracing the movements of her dancing body with an infrared camera as part of a daily improvisational practice (28 Scores, 2013), and a series of live performance and video works exploring the themes of sexuality and desire in the digital age (Talk to Me, 2013). Shallenberg has been nominated for a Bessie in visual design for David Neumann’s Restless Eye, for which she designed a system for scanning and translating the performers’ EEG brain waves into large-scale lighting shifts for the entire performance space. She also worked as lighting designer for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, for which she designed Second Hand, Antic Meet, Nearly 902 and more than 30 unique event performances seen around the world. christineshallenberg.com
Carson Reiners is a choreographer from NYC who has been based in Chicago since 2014. She received a 2015 IAP grant from the City of Chicago and was the recognized choreographer for DanceChance Redux 6.0. Reiners work has shown throughout Chicago. Prior to moving to Chicago, Reiners worked for many prominent choreographers in NYC, as well as undertaking numerous international projects that have taken her to Europe, India, Peru, South Africa, and Israel. She attended CODARTS in Rotterdam, Netherlands and graduated with a BFA in dance from the Anton Bruckner Universitat. Reiners is currently on faculty at 5 dance studios in and around Chicago, reaching over 250 students a week. carsonreiners.com
CreativeBond provides services for artists, including film and performance production, dance dramaturgy, and media consultation. CreativeBond seeks to facilitate projects that provoke thought and revive beauty. Above all, CreativeBond is about engaging collaboration as human relationship and as art. creativebond.net