Falling Up (2001)

Cindy Cummings Performance/Choreography
Todd Winkler Sound/Video/Programming


In this section about time travel, the audience views the same performance simultaneously at ten difference moments in time. The live soloist is projected as a composite grid made up of nine video panels; each delayed differently in time. The movement is designed as an ensemble piece, with the live soloist creating dynamic interactions between the nine projected versions of herself as they appear to move apart, come together, touch each other or disappear out of the frame. Specific audio samples with similar time delays are triggered by location, while speed alters timbral characteristics via pitch shifting and flanging. Towards the end, a disembodied voice recites short phrases describing time travel taken from physics texts, such as, “The past, present and future are only an illusion, no matter how persistent.”

Detailed Description

“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). lessmore

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.