Cindy Cummings Performance/Choreography
Todd Winkler Sound/Video/Programming
Falling Up is a multimedia dance/theatre/music/video collaboration featuring
performer-controlled video and sound manipulation through the use of motion-sensing
technology (The Very Nervous System). This solo performance is the culmination of 4
years of research and development of a new choreographic language made possible by
emerging digital technology, featuring interactive sound and audio processing
(MAX/MSP), video playback, and real-time video processing (NATO), all influenced by
the movement of a performer.

Falling Up explores concepts of gravity, flying and many of its related metaphors: the
physical self, imagination, and how old beliefs hold us in place, limit and color our
experiences. Inspired by inventors and pioneers, the first pilots, astronauts, and digital
explorers, we examine moments in the 20th Century where technology enabled us to do
something previously impossible and changed how we think forever. We also speculate
on future technologies, enabling the body to be transported, modified and projected.

These concepts are illustrated through a new kinesthetic vocabulary refined and inspired
by live video and sound processing. The choreography is enhanced through use of the
Very Nervous System, which uses a video camera to report speed and location to a
computer. Movements are identified and mapped in software to play various sounds, text,
or alter a dancer's projected image.

Three distinct eras are explored. The era of the first airplane flights includes archival
footage of fanciful planes that never got off the ground, with žscientificÓ explanations
from 19th Century engineers describing the impossibility of human flight. The second
area focuses on space travel and the moon landings. Science fiction clips about
moonwalks are interspersed with NASA footage and live video processing. The third
sections looks to the future, exploring time travel, distortions of time and space, black
holes, and other types of body projections. The performer appears several times as a
character, the Aviatrix, who attempts to explain various phenomena to the audience,
while interacting with video clips and video processing.

Research for Falling Up was conducted through residencies at Brown University, USA,
which provided facilities and technical assistance. The development process for Falling
Up was facilitated by Dublin Fringe Festival, and a choreographic bursary awarded by
The Irish Arts Council in 2000. The work was premiered as part of Dublin Fringe 2001.