Vanaf 25 juni is Another Kind of Blue’s ‘Airman’ online te zien op het Virtual National Art Festival in Zuid-Afrika. Naar aanleiding daarvan verscheen er in de Daily Dispatch een mooi artikel. Lees hieronder het artikel en klik op de link voor meer informatie over het Virtual National Art Festival. We zijn enorm vereerd om onderdeel te zijn van dit te gekke festival!
‘Airman’ takes flight on virtual stage
National Arts Festival production uses drones to make impossible possible
Fascinating, unique and even mesmerising at times, David Middendorp’s Airman is an incredible collaboration of modern dance and technology.
Middendorp, artistic director of Netherlands-based dance company Another Kind of Blue, began the project in 2011.
Another Kind of Blue were propelled to fame in 2016 after their performances — blending contemporary dance and technology — on Britain’s Got Talent astounded the judges and viewers.
The group soon became known for their narrative pieces which incorporate moving digital backdrops and projections.
Middendorp’s futuristic dance show, Flirt With Reality, which toured in London and the Netherlands between July 2019 and January 2020, also incorporated some of the dance company’s more abstract creations.
Airman first appeared in Flirt With Reality in 2019 and has made its way onto the 2020 virtual National Arts Festival programme.
The 9½-minute piece sees a dancer share the stage with a fleet of drones. Together man and machines produce a beautiful, contemporary dance duet.
Collaborating with technical partners Sioux LIME, ASC Innovation and Luchtzinnig, Middendorp has developed a motioncapture control system, which he uses to program 12 drones to autonomously fly a preset choreography.
The system also allows for real-time interaction with the dancer.
Not simply flying up and down, the drones take on a series of carefully choreographed manoeuvres, intriguing audiences with the beauty and grace of a dancer.
It is strange to think that a machine can flow and turn and move to the music in these ways, but Airman shows us that it is possible.
As the piece begins dancer Ivan Montis curiously interacts with the objects until they lift off. The dance progresses into a series of organic and synchronised movements as the drones, each emitting a blue light, mimic the dancer’s motions.
Albeit short in length, the piece does not fall short of amazing as Montis, grounded, glides across the stage followed and circled by 12 “dancing” drones in the air.
At times audiences are captivated by the constellation-like affect of the drones and at others enthralled by how these devices take on the shape of the human they “dance” alongside.
Different, but in a good way, and in some sense out of this world, Airman leaves audiences wanting more.
It may also send eager viewers on an hourlong internet search for YouTube videos, interviews and snippets of other performances by Another Kind of Blue.
For some, Airman may even inspire the use and possible abuse of the re-watch button.
To watch this and other shows at the virtual National Arts Festival visit www.nationalartsfestival.co.za
Verschenen op 27 juni 2020 in ‘Daily Dispatch’ door: Madeleine Chaput