Dance Gets High-Tech at the Guggenheim #ArtTuesday
“Falls the Shadow” is a new dance piece from Daniil Simkin. This piece helps move dance technologically forward with advanced lighting and digital projections working with the dancer’s own movements. Shown at the Guggenheim, “Falls the Shadow” is designed to be viewed from above using the dance space as a backdrop. Via New York Times:
But there’s more to see than foreshortened figures. Imagine a nearly ceaseless stream of digital imagery, beginning with unusual shadows. Computer-generated projections envelop the performers with auras as elastic as bubbles, shimmering and rippling at the edges like the hot air of a mirage. Sometimes the shadows linger after bodies exit, like the quick-fading imprint of fingers pressed on pale skin, or maybe like the soul after death.
“Falls the Shadow” is the second entry in the Works & Process Rotunda Project — performances commissioned to address the architectural properties of the Guggenheim’s interior, which Frank Lloyd Wright certainly didn’t envision with dance in mind.
Here’s how it works: An infrared camera scans the dancers’ outlines, 60 frames per second, even as they move, and transmits that information to a computer, which then projects images around the dancers. As Mr. Simkin explained during a recent rehearsal, the speed of the computer processing is crucial. “If there is a lag, the brain sees it as a technological trick,” he said. “If there is no lag, as we can do it now, it is like magic, giving another layer to the movement — like a big dress, my father says.”
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