In the latest performance HandsON by choreographer David Middendorp, dance and technology come together in a virtual world. With VR glasses on, he takes his audience into an enchanting experience. Middendorp wants to use this technology help the development of theater.
HandsON is suitable for theaters with a large or small audience, but also for a unique experience at home. If necessary, quarantined. The VR performance is a co-production with the Nederlandse Dansdagen Digitaal and will premiere there in October 2020.
The hand movements of world leaders such as Trump, Merkel and Macron are the inspiration for this new performance. The dynamics of those hand movements are the starting point for the dancers. In the virtual world, the hands are almost creatures in themselves. The dancers move and are caged by the ten giant fingers. The movements express the subconscious mind of those leaders.
“When I watched those politicians on YouTube, I turned off the sound. Trump's movements caught my eye. His gestures are grand and childishly uncoordinated. Merkel, on the other hand, moves polished, small, simple and thoughtful with her hands. Even Merkel's fist has been restrained.
Macron has a more Mediterranean way of moving. He talks a lot with his hands, is more dynamic and aware of his attitudes than Trump, but not as controlled as Merkel,” said David Middendorp.
“The virtual world that I create for HandsON is going to be beautiful, but there is also room for something sinister. There is something uncomfortable about controlling the people like a puppet with your hands. This technique allows me to create a new exciting world drawn from a blank canvas. As a choreographer I can wish for anything, everything can happen.”
Another Kind of Blue will offer this VR experience to the theaters. Audience will visit HandsON in small groups and plunges into the magical world of David Middendorp and his dancers from the comfortable seat in the theater. “During the lockdown, we realized how important live theater is. To experience something together with others at the same time. During a performance, but also during a drink in the foyer. With the help of virtual reality I want to take this experience a step further, especially now that we can only go to the theater with fewer people for the time being. VR can give theater an extra dimension. I see HandsON as the first presentation of this research.”, David Middendorp.
Another Kind of Blue: Artistic director David Middendorp General manager Hans Brouwer Production Lisa Boere Technical producer Stefan Bandalac Marketing Dieke van der Spek, Leonie Poot Coproduction Nederlandse Dansdagen Digitaal