Monday, 8 November 2010

UKIYO 26th November 2010 at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells

p r e s s  r e l e a s e                     27 / 10/ 2010

[Moveable World]

a choreographic installation fusing dance, sound, design and digital projections


directed by Johannes Birringer & Michèle Danjoux

Friday, November 26, 2010
8:oo  pm
Lilian Baylis Studio 
Sadlers Wells, Rosebery Ave, London, EC1R 4TN
Ticket office:   0844 412 4300
Tickets: £ 12.00 / £ 10.00 (concession)

"Ukiyo" explores the layers of perceptions in an audiovisual world that constantly shifts and fragments. The audience is invited to move in and around the space which features five hanamichi (runways) and several projection screens for the virtual world graphics and animated photography. The dancers and musicians perform simultaneously with digital objects that mutate. Live sound, music and visual choreography for "Ukiyo" are designed for real-time gestural interaction to animate feedback and generative processes through which virtual space and physical performer movements are intertwined.

A European-Japanese collaboration directed by Johannes Birringer, “Ukiyo” is a choreographic installation featuring audiophonic design concepts and wearables by Michèle Danjoux, and choreography by Katsura Isobe, Helenna Ren, Anne-Laure Misme, Yiorgos Bakalos, and Olu Taiwo; choreography on screen by Biyo Kikuchi, Yumi Sagara, Jun Makime, Ruby Rumiko Bessho and Mamen Rivera; photography, video and 3D digital designs by  Paul Verity Smith, Doros Polydorou and Johannes Birringer; original music composed by Oded Ben-Tal, with live digital sound and sensor processing by Sandy Finlayson. Live music composed and performed by Caroline Wilkins. Scenography & lighting by Johannes Birringer. The Second Life graphical interface is designed by Takeshi Kabata and Yukihito Obara. Additional engineering by Eng Tat Khoo (Keio-NUS CUTE Mixed Reality Lab).

This performance by an international ensemble of artists from the DAP-Lab was developed in collaboration with butoh dancers and digital artists in Tokyo, Japan, as part of cross-cultural research into virtual environments directed by Birringer (director of DAP-Lab, and Center for Digital Performance, Brunel University, School of Arts) and coordinated in Japan by Yukihiko Yoshida (Keio University Tokyo).

For further information or photos, call +44 (0)1895 267 343

The European première of UKIYO took place in June 2010 at KIBLA Media Art Center, Maribor, Slovenia.  This project is supported by a grant from The Japan Foundation and The Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance at Brunel University, West London.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The nature of the project

We are at Kibla Arts Centre, Maribor, Slovenia.

KIBLA14LET/Johannes Birringer:UKIYO - koreografska instalacija

We have a performance tomorrow evening and today is a long heavy day for everyone to get everything ready and make this performance happen. Now for me, Ukiyo really look like 'floating worlds' as this blog is called. This work is like a collage of everyone who have been involved.

UKIYOgibljivi svetovi / koreografska instalacija

Yiorgos Bakalos
Katsura Isobe
Biyo Kikuchi
Jun Makime
Anne-Laure Misme
Helenna Ren
Mamen Rivera
Yumi Sagara
Olu Taiwo
Ruby Rumiko Bessho
Caroline Wilkins

Zasnova in režija: Johannes Birringer

Originalna glasba: Oded Ben-Tal
Oblikovanje svetlobe: Mamen Rivera
Fotografija: Paul Verity Smith
3D grafično oblikovanje: Doros Polydorou
procesiranje zvoka v živo: Sandy Finlayson
Modno oblikovanje in koncept: Michele Danjoux
Scenografija: Johannes Birringer
Virtualna vizualna zasnova: Takeshi Kabata, Gekitora

11 performers and 9 artists. Each has brought their own interest and practice they have been exploring, and Ukiyo is the work that embraces the all. This is the unique nature of this project, as opposed to more commercial works where specialists are called in to realise the completed work that a director draws in his/ her mind.

So in a sense, I feel Ukiyo is very fragmented and confusing if you want to follow the narrative in the performance. But if you think about the backgrounds of the artists and the fact that such different people got together in this work, the whole project is impressive.

Each scene, each moment is like crystal of work by each artist. It is so rich and intense.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Rehearsal on 23rd May, towards Slovenia

I had been intending to attend to DAP Lab since I was there last time on 31st January, but it never happened due to complication of our schedules.

Al last, I am back. Sunday the 23rd May, I joined the rehearsal. We have International Workshop with Visiting Artists from Japan from 1st June till 6th June, then a performance at Kibla Art Centre, Maribor, Slovenia on 18th June. It is the to make more shape of our creation.

The main focus for me this time is to create a scene with Doros's virtual world, using sensors. The biggest challenge is the time since Doros and I will have time together only three days.

The rehearsal on 23rd May, we had only short footage of each stage of Doros's virtual world and Sandy, who create sound in live for this scene. This was for me an opportunity to taste a flavour of the scene. The details and more ideas will come later when Doros comes here with all the tools.

I leave here some reflection from the rehearsal for myself so that I can continue the journey with clear focus from 1st June.

Act 1
My character here is called Red Mutant Woman.

picture by Johannes Birringer

This character I had it in past performance so I just need to remember it, but actually it is not that easy. The 'character' I create is not something I can write down and keep it. It is more connected to my personal images and feelings so they fades out as time passes by. I myself is also continuously changing as time passes by. So it needs some work to track down the source I had before to perform this character.
The only run through of this scene was somehow rushed and unclear performance of me. I will need more personal work on this character.

Another part in Act 1, where apparently I do some duet with Caroline, was not in my memory at all. Did we do this before? It must happened coincidentally and I am sure that I had some awareness to Caroline then and may have done something to/with her as part of my usual improvisation but I don't remember. It is good that the moment was picked by the viewers and now more consciously dealt as a scene. I will need to see the whole picture of the scene and figure out what it is about. Do I use my voice? Caroline uses her voice and it may be good to have more voice oriented scene rather than dance. But I am not sure if I make effective voice that communicate with others. I would need honest feedback on my voice performance. If it does not do anything, it does not be there.

My character here is called Leaves Woman. The scene with Doros's virtual world is called Creation.

pictures by Johannes Birringer

This is the first time I worked on this scene. Here is the circumstances;

Carolone is the sun, speaks zaum language.
I'm making synthetic virtual world.
But I'm so organic looking in Michele's dress with real Ginkgo leaves from Tokyo.
I keep creating world.
I am leaves. Memory, tactile sensation, secret, and hiding.
Who is this little 'greenman'?

Should I care so much about the whole dramaturgy? At the moment, I am just trying to be there at my best. I am pretty sure if I can make sense of the relation to what already happened in the performance and my Red Mutant Woman character, my performance would be more meaningful and powerful. But this seems almost impossible due to the fragmented nature of the work. So I am thinking... it may be better not to think too much and just do it. Then I would maintain simple better energy for this scene.
Is this just different way of working for performance?

There were four stages in the creation and I started finding some movement motif for each. Here are the four stages and description of my performance by Johannes.

Katsura slides in, on ground, like snake. carefully sniffing the earth, careful about cracks opening, she responds to earthquake

she rises up, lifting her spirit, he lifts the sky and moves the clouds

--- under construction, , she does a bending figure, ground and up high and down as if throwing seeds to the fields (rocks), catching the dust, the birds, the rain

- she is down and up and more vigorous,lilting and tilting, in a duet now with the voices coming from Caroline who has entered during SKY to do the zaum voice poetry and calling of ghosts.

as we approach the dying down of the zaum and fourth section......, the retreat of the sun goddess who has given light and energy for the creation scene with her golden glow, . katsura in LeavesDress might work well on an ephemeral, transience choreography of fades that could be support again by you and water puring and reverberating? these fades are a kind of death. for rebirth.

My reminder for myself of this performance is
low-high-middle-all levels.

The ALL NATURE stage, I imaged Butoh, ephemeral and transience in Johannes's words.

Everything will be changed when I am armed with sensors and interactions. But I will try to keep these findings in my mind.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Where I am and garment design for Leaves Woman

I am sorry to say that my exploration has not been developed much at all since we left Japan. Or even, my memory is washed out by other things happening everyday.
I have indeed tremendous anxiety on our coming performance. I am extremely frustrated that the rehearsal scheduling has been very difficult for us. It is the most important thing for me to move the body and see what others do in order to grow my art. Without doing do, there is no development.

So I look back my blog. I am glad that I did this. For leave woman, I have to stick on this idea.

Leaves Woman 1
Reflection on Improv at Symposium

The most important things to keep in our mind are these ( I call these the essence of performance):

the sensorial information coming from leaves-
smell (Maki will create this?)
tactile texture (something fragile, which I can either destroy or cherish, / I will keep the tactile hand movement playing with leaves)
sound (it will be recorded sound manipulated via sensors. Oded has already done some experiments: Audio Visual Demos)
colours and shapes (do we have projected leaves?)

my personal associations drown from the sensorial information-
memory, secret, regret

The problem we are facing is that we cannot have the real leaves due to its ephemeral nature. However, the experience we have had is not ephemeral. It stays with us. The things that stayed with me are the ones above. So I will stick on them and they won't change even without the leaves. We shall try to create the scenography that conveys the essence to the audience.

Talking the garment, I have no clear idea. It almost feels like we have to think subtracted way first (quite Zen and very me). What is not necessary? What has to remain?

Then I look at the essence: smell/ tactile texture/ sound/ colours and shapes

Smell- Leave perfume on garment so it smells as I move?
Tactile texture- Fragile or delicate texture that implies the ephemeral nature of leaves
Sound- I am not sure if sound is important on this garment
Colours and shapes- could be undefined to show the ephemeral nature of leaves

What I am personally interested is 'undefined garment'. Rather than changing the garment from Red mutant woman to Leaves woman, it would be nice if we can transform it from one to the next. I imagine the transformation can be done with creation scene. I don't know how long the scene is but I could transform the world and myself gradually. I am not going to be naked in front of everyone. What I think is more like taking off layers like an insect metaphors and the remain could be part of the scenography if we like.

Last question to answer. The location of sensors. I would thing it needs to be on my hand or fingers since that is the only body part that I have mentioned as I describe the essence. And also it is easy to control the sensors on the hand, considering I have little time to explore the system.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Silent Drum

Take a look at the work of this guy using video camera interface to control sounds:

The sound sources are recordings of percussion instruments and he has some information about the concept and the code he developed for this project.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

To do list

On Sunday I suggested we need to prioritise our collective effort to make the best use of time we have. I think a good starting point would be to collect our various ideas - especially the ideas that require cooperative work - into a list and then try to figure out some priorities. Michele suggested I should get the ball rolling so here goes (in no particular order):
- Sensors: getting the system set up receiving data from dancers and sharing data between the computers. which will enable us to work on:
- Sensors: dancer's interacting with 3D world & music - games and dramaturgy.
- Dancers should spend time performing with Paul's images to develop interesting connections between the screen images and the stage performance.
- Exploring the sounds from Carolin's small speakers in relation to her performance (vocal & theatrical)
- Developing dancer's sonic performance. Especially when more then one dancer is performing the relationship between the different sounds (acoustic & electronic), gestures, images.
- Developing a megaphone (of sorts) for Anne-Laure to distort her vocal performance.
- Can we Use small speakers to animate objects (e.g. if we hang speakers like leaves from a tree will they rattle a little when we send sounds into them?)
- Finding an effective way to utilise the wireless speaker, and then integrate it into the performance if we can.

Some of these might need to be broken up into smaller tasks as we develop our wish list.