Virtually Physical


Choreography for two dancers, two avatars and motion capture OptiTrack

What does it mean to deal with the intrinsic characteristics of a software and a hardware? How could the limits of a system be explored to create something new?

In this case, using OptiTrack motion capture system, which employs markers as indicators for 3D position and orientation; the software default avatar is summoned as a host, as a body to inhabit. A way to let things happen, to think about (dis)continuity, (dis)orientation, (dis)jointedness of the body. The dancers and avatars are invited to participate in a performance of body-space-time (re)configuring, that is more related to how electrons experience the world than any choreographic form presuming performers in movement along trajectories across a stage.

Performativity allows us to tell one body from another, or one kind of body from another. The bodies are determined in the intra-actions, rather than preexisting them, producing patterns of difference. Observation of those patterns gives hints about the nature of the arrangement of the particles and the diffractive process that comes into being.
A diffractive method of accounting for participation involves being aware of what kind of difference is produced by performing. The agents involved in the process are differently affected. It triggers different effects when entering different bodies due to their materiality, agency and environment. Virtualisation could be conceived as a diffractive apparatus, in which the actual body becomes entangled and produces specific (movement) patterns. Such entanglements affect all bodies participating in the phenomenon.

Both the actual and the virtual bodies are real. The actual has concrete existence, while the virtual does not; but it is no less real for that fact. Virtual performers may similarly be actualized if the avatar choreography is (re)perform by the real dancers. The iterations between real and virtual choreography, the reinterpretation from both sides, could be infinite and generative.




In cooperation with Yana Novotorova & Charlotte Triebus


Tanzhaus NRW · Düsseldorf, Germany