KLOF. cyberographies of folk
dance performance bringing folkdances into dialogue with artificial intelligence
“Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.”
― Donna J. Haraway
Two dancing bodies on stage. One is a living machine of the human body. Another one is a virtual machine of technology.
Both were trained in folk dances.
One - five years in the academic dance institution, training every day in order to drill and perfect the movement skills. The other one is a machine learning algorithm that has been trained for several hours on folk dance samples recorded with motion tracking technology. Through millions of iterations on these recordings, this computer model learned to choreo(cybero)graph dozens of synthesised folk dances on its own.
Between these two dancing partners unfolds a dialogue, charged with traditions and potentialities, both open and specific, harmonising and contesting, mechanical and spiritual.
They search for an alliance that invites us to explore the ability of a body to build and rebuild itself in a perpetual act of unlearning automatic habits, making the other body move renewed, while abstracting their movement into an autonomous aesthetic field.
Folk dances transmit the legacy of disciplining the bodies while framing them into representations of cultural identities. As we are acknowledging complexities and hybrid identities in our contemporary world, shouldn’t we rethink and hybridise the former “dances of the people” as well? The intersections between the digital and the analogue become especially intriguing when they are intertwined with the political and aesthetic potential of dance. Dance has always been a reflection on how society is organised and nowadays humans are increasingly extended by and merged with technology. Can artificial intelligence help us to de-hierarchize and reinvent these inherited bodily practices? What could be the kinaesthetic construction of the future world and who will be moving/running/choreographing/driving/leading whom?
Concept, artistic direction, choreography: Irina Demina
Co-choreography, dance: Viktória Kőhalmi
Sound Design: Michelangelo Contini
Machine Learning programming: Dávid Samu
Computer animation: Yaron Maïm
Stage design: Yue Ying
Costume design: Justyna Gmitrzuk
Light design: Asier Solana, Agustín de Olarte
Visuals & projection: Sven Gareis
Dramaturgical support: Ana Letunić
Production: Tammo Walter
Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Capital Cultural Fund)
Research supported by Arbeits- und Recherchestipendium (research stipend) and Tanzpraxis scholarship by Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin.
Revival 2023 in DOCK 11 supported by Wiederaufnahmeförderung der Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
Performances in Hamburg 2023 are supported by Wiederaufnahmeförderung vom Fonds Darstellende Künste aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Rahmen von NEUSTART KULTUR.
© Philipp Weinrich