An interactive Inter-Media Performance
An expedient inter-medial use means: acting, operating, reacting, seizing, continuing and developing a composed consequence.
Not until the sum of the inserted media and variation possibilities exceeds the single component parts, and not before one part is incomplete or not practicable without the rest, will a real inter-medial performance result.
Project Management: J.U.Lensing
Music: Thomas Neuaus
Video: Falk Grieffenhagen
Choreography: Jacqueline Fischer
Dancers / musicians:
Bernardo Fallas, Majorie Delgado, Fatima Gomes, Catalina Gomez, Nina Hanel, Hyun-Jin Kim
KBB: Imogen Nabel
Costumes: Caterina Di Fiore
Project Management: J.U.Lensing
Music: Thomas Neuhaus
Video: Falk Grieffenhagen / Fabian Kollakowski
Choreography: Jacqueline Fischer
Dancers / musicians:
Alex Carrillo, Bernardo Fallas, Catalina Gomez, Nina Hanel, Arthur Schopa
KBB: Miriam Pankarz / Rosa Rühling
Costumes: Caterina Di Fiore
About the Production
In “SUITE intermediale” dancers use space as an audio-visual instrument. The “Inter-Media Suite”, is made up of seven self-contained, audio-visual compositions. It is a collective creation of a choreographer and a director together with video artists, a composer and performers (who are simultaneously dancers and musicians).
On the visual level, the dance performance is transformed into a three dimensional video and light environment. On the acoustic level, the electronic transformation of sound, generated live or electronically, is interpreted and controlled by the movements of the dancers.
The elements of teamwork, interaction and cooperation play decisive roles, because the piece is not about a single authorship but is rather, a collective development in the combining of diverse competences. The equal treatment of music algorithms, video algorithms and choreographic modular material requires from all participating persons, a deep respect for the developmental process, and for the efforts of the equally participating artists, from various disciplines. A great liberty of creation possibilities exist for the performers, because they are not only dancers, they are visual transmitters for the video input, and they are musicians of the composer’s live offered sound structures as well. At the same time, they have to improvise structurally within a frame, which is arranged with the choreographer, working varyingly with fixed movement material. A detailed knowledge of the interactive techniques is necessary and comparable to a musician who knows his instrument exactly and who knows perfectly well how to play it.
The scenographic and acoustic spaces only emerge through the actions of the dancers. “SUITE intermediale” brings together “Musique concrète” with interactive electronic music as well as theories of “absolute film” developed through modern real time transformation of sound by computer. In each performance the real time composition comes to a varied form.
“SUITE intermediale” was the logical continuation and completion of an interactive-electronic theater approach, which began as early as 1993 with the piece “Figur und Klang im Raum” (Figure and Sound in Space) and was significantly developed further in “HOEReographien” in 2005. The technology used, as well as the intermedial approach to it, also played a decisive role in subsequent pieces such as “Vanitas”, “Coda” or, more recently, in the “Lackballett”.
Suite Intermediale: Press
Surprising Work Sample
… The most surprising part of the triptych, however… was a sample of their work.
Part of the “Intermedia Suite ” was shown for the first time. This harks back directly to Oskar Schlemmer’s figure and sound concept and applies present-day technical resources to Classical Modernism. This was an in-depth demonstration of how exciting it can be when the dancer’s body is used as medium to create sound and images, when the shadows and the blur of movement are captured on a screen, and the kinetic is converted into acoustic impulses …
Theatre of Sounds
Stomping footsteps create echoing thunder; jerking turns produce an explosive drum roll. In the background, the colourful silhouettes of the performers flash across a giant screen, spraying yellow, white and red sparks and condensing into gigantic volcanic eruptions.
Dreamlike sound sculpture – the Theatre of Sound is showing off its “Intermedia Suite Part 1” at the FFT-Juta (Juta Free Theatre Forum). This is a preliminary, 40-minute presentation of a work that is still under development. The finished piece will be seen in the autumn.
The movements, gestures and sounds of the performers are recorded live with video cameras and microphones and the entire stage space is transformed into a resonator. Through computers, the artists transform their dance performance into image and sound. A markedly rhythmic, audio-visual extravaganza supported by electronics. The sound and video engineers sit next to the stage, controlling the loops and beats. The dancers —five women and one man— overlay the programmed sound compositions and video installations with the physical expression of their dancing. An atmospheric buzzing and chirping, loud gargling noises, the repetitive sound of bells and a rustling echo flow from the loudspeakers while, in the background, shadows with grotesquely elongated limbs like ultrasound images perform distorted pirouettes.
Experimental dance theatre in the truest sense of the word. The innovative body language makes you want more and long for autumn to be here.
Dance of the Worlds
The Theatre of Sound gives us a first glimpse of its new work.
Strictly speaking, it is impossible to write a review of the “Intermedia Suite – Part 1”. Theatre director Joerg Lensing explains why. Every evening is different, as he tells the audience. Although the same dancers —at present six of them— are always on stage and the basic features of the choreography remain the same, every performance looks and sounds different. The Theatre of Sound is a truly unique ensemble that makes sounds, images and people interact.
Interactive performance is not new but the Theatre of Sound has taken it one step further. Here, everyone responds to everyone and everything else around them: the choreographers, directors, video artists, dancers and musicians who develop the productions, the video clips, the sounds, and then the dancers’ steps on stage. All this is possible thanks to sophisticated computer technology. The music is manipulated by the movement of the dancers; the movements are manipulated again by cameras as images are cast on the screen. It all sounds very complicated, but the result is incredible.
The banging, whistling, throbbing, rumbling and whirring generated by the dancers’ forms as they move through the air and across the stage give rise to a splendid electronic concert, although some people might find it gets on their nerves after a while. Add to this the pure dance and the blurred, dismembered video images in the background, where a dancer is transformed into calligraphy or mutated into hundreds of small women. The ensemble blurs into colourful paintings that would certainly pass for modern art.
The Theatre of Sound has put together two choreographies of approximately 45 minutes for this preliminary version, which still goes under the modest name of work sample. Choreographer Jacqueline Fischer,
composer Thomas Neuhaus and video artist Falk Grieffenhagen, together with their lighting designers and scenographers, will be offering a full-length performance in late autumn or early winter. It promises to be an amazing experience and one to look forward to.
Neue Rhein Zeitung
Bursting the limits of music
The Theater der Klänge takes the lead. With “Suite intermediale” it has presented a true master piece. In the Folkwang hall dancers took turns with sound structures and image pattern in a very imaginative way. On a large screen in the background you could see colourful flickering silhouettes, distorted figures and figures spraying sparks. The music by Thomas Neuhaus, professor at Folkwang, gave the action an atmospheric frame.
Some parts on the stage were only possible thanks to the use of computers, special software, and sound and image sensors.
Jörg U. Lensing, Professor for sound design in Dortmund, is the lead figure of the enterprise. In 1987 he brought the first artists of different genres together and founded an experimental theatre, which has been internationally successful with its annual productions.
WAZ/ Neue Ruhr Zeitung
Trust is good, but check out the scenography!
…a presentation of the current research and art development project IIP (interactive intermedia performance) under the direction of Prof. Jörg U. Lensing (Theater der Klänge, Düsseldorf/ FH Dortmund). The 20 minutes long presentation of “Suite intermediale”, which was part of the evening program, was a live concert on stage presented by playing computer programmers in conjunction with performers, the former were convinced they could be dancers, choreographers and musicians at the same time. While the stage evolved from the performers’ actions and reactions by reversing classical stage concepts, movement generated sound, visual images and spaces in an intermodal manner the audience could grasp and experience.
New sounds from Theater der Klaenge
The Düsseldorf ensemble was named Theater der Klänge (Theatre of Sounds) in 1987, and in its latest production sounds play an important role again. They disguise themselves as forms and colours, human movement and digitally created film formations. The “Suite intermediale” was premiered recently at Folkwang-Universität in Essen-Werden. The founding members of the groups had graduated from this university, and randomly brought together different genres in the spirit of Folkwang.
Their pieces deal with the dramatic work of Bauhaus; the performers played a modern multicultural story like an old Commedia dell’arte and declared the golden ratio by means of their dance performance. In “Suite intermediale”, which they present for the first time in Düsseldorf, they abstain from these stories. Instead, the seven chapters are merely a succession of dances like in the preceding project “HOEReographien” (LISTENographies) of 2005.
The director Jörg U. Lensing and his team consisting of the choreographer Jacqueline Fischer, the composer Thomas Neuhaus, the video artists Fabian Kollakowski and Falk Grieffenhagen and the six dancers do not take the easy way out. They interconnect dance, film images and sound by means of cameras, microphones, computers, projections and loud speakers. Basic technical patterns turn into living figures. Sounds resembling the sounds of instruments agglomerate like clouds and pelt down like rain. The dancers appear alone or in groups, in black and white, later in green, yellow, red, some describe small bows, circles and bends with their feet, shoulders, elbows, heads or energetically strike out further. Sometimes fast, sometimes more slowly, impulsively or in a more prolonged way, just like music.
Sometimes they project shadows on the rear wall. However, most of the time their images are transformed: into little fat men in white, smeary black schemes or parts of human silhouettes, they leave cryptic traces of movement like superimposed photographs, are translated into wide colourful lines, letters or multiplied little copies of themselves, which line up, cluster or disappear like stars into the universe. Far from a pure reproduction with live cameras, which often annoys on stages, the Theater der Klänge presents totally unpredictable trans-formations.
More than just new perspectives
The media transformation of choreography into a wide span of sounds and images presented more than just new perspectives. They baffled the audience, left them breathless or even provoked spontaneous and warm applause during the performance.
High-Tech at Theater der Klaenge
At the premiere at Tanzhaus NRW in Düsseldorf the two guys who controlled the images and sounds from their laptops were celebrated just as enthusiastically as the six dancers. A miracle of digital image technology! Hidden cameras, microphones and loudspeakers are spread across the room. They record every arm movement, every jump and turn of the three couples, project them onto a large white screen and simultaneously create a sound setting. It is wafting, bubbling, cheeping and flickering. Then there is some rippling and rustling. Depending on the size of the movement. Sometimes the echo of the steps is converted into an audio-backdrop. Most fascinating is the exhilarating change of images on the screen, which dominates the Suite intermediale and entrances the audience. Yet, the digital images that fan out, break down, dissect and recompose individual movements are not the only exciting images. Particularly interesting is the manifold reproduction of feet, legs, hands, heads and arms. They mount up to a colossus. In one second and with one mouse click they mutate to a line or to thousands of white threads that pour onto the screen like a waterfall. The computer software seems to be ingenious and sophisticated and virtually inexhaustible. Thanks to an enormous memory it enables the encounter between real figure and its digital mirror image, which was visible only a few minutes prior. Only at the end a woman appears alone and sings a song. Not digital, simply she with her own voice. How soothing after all that high-tech.
The Theater der Klaenge does credit to its name
The Duesseldorf ensemble, which was founded in 1987 consisting of musicians, dancers, actors and frequently referring to the Bauhaus stagecraft, developed the so-called “HOEReografien” (listenographies) in 2005. They offer a scenario that combines dance with film and sound, as cameras and other technical sensors “take it down” and computer programs convert the bulk of information into moving images and sounds.
“SUITE intermediale” (…) scores thanks to its variety. Under the direction of the stage director J.U.Lensing, the choreographer Jacqueline Fischer and the composer Thomas Neuhaus as well as the video specialists Fabian Kollakowski and Falk Grieffenhagen, six dancers and a large rear screen present about twenty different ways to turn dance into film images. And into electronic sounds, which seem to be less diverse, with moderate or vibrating fast bangs that remind the audience sometimes of a marimbaphone and sometimes of a cello. The dancers improvise in the fixed frame of the SUITE, alone or in a group, vary scope, number and dynamics of their limb movements, and combine themselves in contact improvisation. (…) However, the sequence is presented in a dramaturgically clever way, it particularly charms in its quiet moments, in which the wittiness of the interactive game becomes apparent: when dancers cast only normal shadows, an extended arm slowly covers the entire rear wall in the film reproduction in the form of a black shape, when the flickering colours suddenly stop and turn into an abstract painting, or when the screeching of naked toes on the floor is distorted and then reproduced as creaks coming out of the loudspeakers.
In the last and most beautiful scene one of the dancers sings a song. She is on her own and dances simply like the girl in the traditional folk song “Es führt über den Main eine Brücke von Stein, wer darüber will gehen, muss im Tanze sich drehen” (Over the river Main there is a bridge made of stone. If you want to cross it you must turn around in dancing). At the same time, little echoes of her voice reverberate through the room.
tanz – February 2011