Monday, 9 April 2007

Monologue on performance with technology

Easter is great. It gave me enough spare time and space in my mind to watch TV and search the internet.

I saw on TV about a multi-disciplinary group called Troika, who creates weird devices with technology that can interact with people and the society.

I am interested in a new way of presenting dance. Well, it does not need to be "dance"(what's dance anyway). Something to do with body, space, movement, people and the society. Something that suggests different ways of seeing, and can communicate with individuals.

One morning as I get up, I will have a super original idea for that!????

And this Troika seems something that feeds me some inspiration.

So I went to the website, and click, click, click... Once you start, you cannot stop following the links.

I have found this article on the magazine Icon.
digital poets


Now people are finally doing work where the expression is more important than the technology behind it.

“Interaction design is an approach – a process of designing relationships rather than things. It emerged from designing for electronic systems, but that thinking can be applied to all sorts of areas.”

As interaction design proliferates, there is also scepticism about some of the work being produced. “A few of these projects come from [a perspective of] ‘here’s a technology, so let’s see what we can do with it’ – rather than having a real question, desire or need,” says’s Mathias Gmachl. Others have pointed out the limits of work that is mostly experimental: “Many of these kind of provocative projects wouldn’t make it through as products,” remarks Jack Mama, creative director of Philips Design. “Elements get taken on and put into something else; the interesting thing is how they get translated, but they can get lost in translation.”

“It’s not really about solving a problem, it’s about solving a psychological need for poetry and inspiration,” he says. And this means thinking laterally about how we use the technology.

By appropriating illusion and narrative, designers are rediscovering modes of communication that have evolved over millennia. Products and buildings are being infused with the power of storytelling and dialogue. “The choice is between the familiar and the abstract; the practical task-based design versus an enjoyment of aesthetics that is closer to art,” says Moggridge. “Any product has to sit somewhere on that scale. It’s happening not because we didn’t always want it, but because it’s now much more possible. Because of the dispersal of technology you can make magic with almost anything.”

I have been working on performance with technology for four years, with five projects including two ongoing and one to come. These comments reflect so well what I have been thinking (Or do I just interpret in a way I wish because I already have some opinions?).

My big question is WHY TECHNOLOGY???
I keep asking this question as I work on a project.
It cannot be there just because it's cool.

What I want for performance with technology is.....
Maybe a unique poetry and inspiration?

Then aren't they anyway what a performance aims at?

Then can technology let a performance engage the audience more direct way?

But is that the way you want to go?

Saturday, 7 April 2007



近所を通っているカナル(運河)。どこまでも続いていて,カナルをずっと移動して,イギリス中巡れるという話。今まで散歩で1時間半くらいしか 行ったことがなかったけれど、自転車でたらたら1時間半行くと,なんとロンドンの外まで行って,いくつもの湖がある地域に出るのです!カナル沿いからいく つも小道が出ていて,適当にたどっていくと,両側水に挟まれた野道になっちゃったりするんです。すごーいー。

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Glow, Woking Dance Festival (and some thoughts on myself)

I have been dancing professionally for 12 years, and for the first time, I have had a FULL TIME contract as a performer.

Such luxury life. Focusing on one project without bothering with other activities like taking classes, teaching etc. No need to rush between a few places either. A day can be as simple as this.

After four weeks of rehearsals, we just finished the performances yesterday.

Glow, Woking Dance Festival 2007

How strange that my fellow dancers who spent four weeks together go completely different ways from today. Or maybe the other way around. How strange that all these different people happen to meet and work together for a project.

It was quite unusual project for me to work with nine other dancers, as I tend to work much smaller numbers of dancers. The group was absolutely intriguing. Everyone has an original nature as a person, and unique way of working as a dancer. I was blown up. I am too quiet. I am too shy. I am too held back. I am thinking too much. I am too serious... All these negative feelings let me down, and anyway these feelings do not help me, so I fought back and kept myself up.

This is somehow familiar place to be. I used to have this struggle always, but since I left a college, I did not have much chance to be there. My mood goes up and down. I like challenging myself though. I make a little challenge like a kid, like "Today I try to say whatever comes up in my mind", or "Today I try to chat with people"...etc.

So on this personal sideway along the main way of the creation of the work, I have experienced a lot. And this is what I needed right now.

The month before this project, I had Pilates teaching 4-5 days a week. Six hours a day. Being a Pilates teacher, I feel like I need to be almost perfect person. We teach people with injuries or problems, and we are dealing with someone's body (and also mind). I am not supposed to be very emotional either. Neutral presence. That's what I am aiming for.

This attitude does not work as a dancer. A dancer needs to have more subjective view, which can bring the one's input in the creation.

How can I balance these two positions?

This is my current question.

A Craniosacral therapy session has given me a good idea for this (and probably this is not a usual reaction to the therapy). If I think the neutral presence in Pilates teaching as zero, it is not an ideal to stay at the zero point all the time though I was probably thinking that way. It is important to come back to zero sometimes to find a ground for myself, but the ground would become harder if I jump up and down or sift side to side widely.

So this is what I want to practise from now on, being back to my less exciting life... No, let's make it more exciting.