Virtual Reality Meet Dance

eve_choregraphe-interpretes_Margherita-Bergamo_Laura-Sormunen_photo-Kirstin-Huber-et-Joao-Queirolo-2-900x585 Eve. Interpreted by Margherita Bergamo and Laura Sormunen. Photo Kirstin Huber et Joao Queirolo.

Written by Lyse Ross

Having provided as a springboard for artists and choreographers alike ever since its creation, Tangente has once again, as a supporter of contemporary dance in all it’s aesthetic and multidisciplinary potential, provided its audience with a rich and provoking set of performances.

It was last Thursday at the Wilder space that Dans son salon and Compagnie Voix & Omnipresenz presented a dual performance through an interdisciplinary approach involving dance, virtual reality and visual projection.

As the first piece begins, viewers are invited to explore a space where the virtual and the real converge through Eve, a collaborative piece between Margherita Bergamo of Compagnie Voix dance company and Daniel Gonzalez, a digital artist for Omnipresenz, an extended reality company that designs virtual reality systems. Pairs of dancers surround Eve (interpreted by Margherita) only. Spectator-participants are invited to wear Oculus headsets and are accompanied by the performers. These participants are transported in another space, visible to the viewers through screens setup across the room. The result is curious, and a load for the senses. One can explore the relationship between movement and body by focusing on the physical interactions between participants and performers, or the virtual experience of the participants through the screens. It is a very immersive experience overall, almost intrusive, daring the viewer to imagine dance and movement above and beyond the physicality of it through someone else’s eyes.

As we re-enter the room for the second piece, we cannot help but notice the elephant in the room. Or rather, the gigantic 10 foot cube.

Dans son salon is a dance company marked on developing its own approach in regards to video and visual artistry. Through this performance, we meet a self-proclaimed visionary, an entrepreneur, a dancer, but mostly, we are met with a completely unique experience that is very highly saturated; sound and music, images, video, dance and audio commentary mix to create The Third Summer of Love, a new celebratory experience reminiscent of the 60’s counter-culture and 80’s acid revival. But let me just say, this highly sensory saturated experience is not a bad thing. One would even argue that this is even the point.

Not only is Dans son salon set on being a visionary with regards to developing its own interdisciplinary approach to dance, the company is also set on exploring the contradictions that permeate the world of art.

During the performance, our performer invites us to indulge in the present moment and to practice love, peace, respect, unity. “Everyone say it, all together now! Oh how the values and ethos of the 60’s counter-culture are a basin for inspiration and good vibes… oh how it was better before! But fear not, we have the solution, we have developed the newest, most enthralling celebratory experience of this generation, be part of the revolution with the Third Summer of Love!’’

The performance is fascinating, always basking between an idealisation of the 60’s counter-culture and the realities behind the commercial, consumerist face of art. Between a socio-historical depiction of the movement through sound and imagery, to a repackaging of the movement as a commodity by the performer-entrepreneur trying to sell the experience, The Third Summer of Love is downright hilarious, blatant in the questions it’s trying to ask, unflinching in its contradictions and self-mockery. For anyone whose last experience of an onstage dance performance was the Nutcracker, time to break out of the shell.

Tangente is presenting a number of innovative, immersive initiatives happening in the world of dance right now. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Information HERE. 

tangente, dance, performance, video,
interdisciplinary, choreagraphy, virtual reality

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