Flux involved three dancers: Guy Adams, Ayesha Mill, and Becky Yates and 4 computer models: graveyard, maze, temple and geometric shapes (a landscape with shapes embedded). Flux investigated the use of hypertext in our work by treating individual performative components as independent elements which could be freely juxtaposed with each other in a performance laboratory.

The devising process

Each dancer was guided into creating a dance phrase or physical choreography (Pc), called their home phrase and specific for a particular computer model. Some dancers were asked to learn others’ home phrases. Each home phrase had a set movement order but was not set temporally, i.e. the dancer was free to change dynamic. Curson would then work with each dancer in turn in the performance laboratory to devise a virtual choreography (Vc) that complemented their home movement phrase Pc. In addition all dancers were taught a phrase devised by Stuart called 'the Graveyard phrase'.

The the total set of performative elements were:

These components could be 'shuffled' and presented in a wide variety of permutations to create a new experience for the viewer with each performance (similar to a reader's unique route through a hypertext).

The Flux score and its creation

During the research a score emerged that was performed for the final showing. Flux’s score consisted of seven sections. If during the score dancers completed a movement phrase before the next section had commenced they were instructed to start again at the beginning. The decision when to progress to the next section of the score was left ambiguous to be resolved between the dancers and the cyber-dancer during performance.

Flux Section Description by section number

  1. Introduction Yates onstage, Geometric Shapes model zooms into view. Yates starts performing her home phrase in the Geometric Shapes model. Curson steps the Vc through her palette B1…B7, synchronising with her Pc phrase.
  2. The Curson changes the Vc to the start of Adams’ Vc, G1, in the Maze. Adams enters and performs his phrase. Curson steps through the Vc in his palette, G1…G9, Yates remains still wherever she was when the model changed to the Maze.
  3. Curson changes back to the Geometric Shapes model, Yates continues where she left off and is joined by Adams performing her Pc in synchronisation with her. Curson continues to step the Vc through Becky’s palette.
  4. Curson changes back to the Maze, Adams continues where he left off, Yates is still. Curson steps the Vc through Adams’ palette continuing from Section 2.
  5. Curson changes the model to the Temple, cueing Mill’s first Vc section A1. Mill enters and starts performing her Pc phrase. Adams joins Yates being still. 30 seconds into Mill’s phrase Yates joins Mill in a synchronised duet. Curson steps the Vc through Mill’s palette, A1…A8.
  6. Curson changes to the Graveyard. Adams starts performing the Graveyard phrase, both Yates and Mill join him. Curson changes the Vc to GY1 and steps through the Graveyard sequence GY1…GY6 following the trio as they perform.
  7. Curson changes out of the Graveyard model. All of the dancers are now free to perform their own sequences or to follow one of the others that they know according to some structured rules. Curson is free to switch the Vc to follow any of the three dancer sequences. B1…B7, G1…G9 or A1…A8. Curson can choose to terminate the work at any time by fading lights and sound.

By using cinematic techniques of cutting the digital scenography Stuart attempted in Flux to draw the viewer into alternately identifying with different dancer's worlds, even when more than one dancer was onstage. Each dancer had their own associated computer model and virtual choreography and Stuart hoped that by switching between the scenography of different dancers, the viewer would simultaneously change their perspective and identify with the relevant dancer. Stuart was not satisfied that she achieved this, but the potential is there.

Related Pages: Hypertext | MA Dissertation | Basic Stage Setup | Vision

alKamie are members of Chisenhale Dance Space.
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