Falling Up (2001)

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

ET/Wright Bros

ET begins with a video process whereby the dancer’s image is distorted by a sine wave, creating elongated rubbery movements. Low rumbling sounds and high ethereal sounds accompany the image, with filters continuously changing the sound in response to the dancer’s speed and proximity to the sensing camera. The section ends with the warped image of the dancer trapped inside a three-dimensional cube, spinning and floating freely in blue space. The orientation and position in space of the cube is carefully choreographed. Suddenly, the cube shoots off into space, returning with a trapped video loop of the Wright brothers’ first filmed flight, combining the most futuristic images with the most historical. This section takes advantage of the 3-D features of Open GL.

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.