DANCE DURING WARTIME. S’odinonsuonare second residency at STEIM

“I would like to say just few words before you see the performance. The performance you are going to see it is just a part of a long piece we are still developing. Exactly it is the first half of it. We spent the last year to create a sound instrument to interact with. Then we came to Steim first in January to experiment with sound and interaction. The sound and the ways to interact we created here, affected my way to dance and my imagination. My steps, my movements come from what I feel, from the sound I am hearing and creating. For example a sound can make me feel very heavy or slow….we came back to Italy with all these suggestions and feelings and we started to create some choreographies…dramaturgy was a way for us to put some borders of the infinity possibilities of a new music instrument…This second residency at Steim has been an occasion to try to pass on someone my way to interact and feel the sounds; experiment with the choreographies created in Italy and the structure of the performance, the composition. Today for us is an occasion to have a response from an audience, to understand if the way we interact with instrument can be perceived and if the way we use interaction to create a dance piece can be good.”

This was the introduction we made before the people was set free to enter the space of the performance the last day of our April residency. I waited for the people outside and headed them on the space where Marco was waiting on the piano and Maria Mavridou was already dancing. These days at Steim made us understand deeply our research and the piece thanks to the daily confrontation with the dancer and the feedback from audience. The themes of the piece is the “cultural conflicts” and dance as a morale booster during conflicts but we realize that even interacting with the sensors system can be a conflict, a conflict between a dancer and a system, a conflict between what was taught to the dancer by me and what instead she felt. This new conflict made us understand what is gonna be the next step on the work, try to put a dancer really in contrast with the system and not try to deal with it. After the performance we had an inspiring talk with the audience that asked us about how we create the movements, piece and sounds. From this didactic talk was clear for us how much we can pass on someone after years of research in interacting and movement; so we are now thinking about to teach some workshops. Alessio Mazzaro

During the morning I spend time by developing the device. Here you can find the final circuit design.


Now the dynamic range of sensors is better adapted to the XBee ADC’s and the whole stability during battery discharge will be more stable.

This is the Max patch I use to read incoming data from XBee module.

Composing music for interaction is stimulating. For the first part of the choreography I use an arms triggered virtual instrument; the sound is very rounded and notes are played random by a predetermined sequence. This gives to the dance a sense of calm when moving slow and chaos when moving fast. During the residency at STEIM we decide to introduce a part of improvised piano on the dance; it looks and sounds like two musicians playing in a band but every one in his own relation with the instrument.

There are many aspects of music that can evolve in a piece: melody, harmony, rhythm and sound.
The second piece is a composition in which melody and rhythm are given and the dancer plays timber and sound effects. In the choreography the modulation of echo volume by the dancer gives her more perception of space when moving.
Next steps on this work are experimenting the conflict between dance and sound.
It’s ease when creating sounds for flex sensors to loose completely the choreography; the sound produced by the instrument is interesting but it constrains the body to move like an insane. That’s why during the creative process we need first of all a dramaturgic direction (in this case conflict) and then a continuos feedback between composer and choreographer.

Marco Campana

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