Live & OnLine 2013 Report



After four years research into the creation of digital dance scores with guest choreographers, the Motion Bank project of The Forsythe Company concluded Phase One with a presentation of results both live and on-line and proposals for the future (the original announcement). All events took place from 28 Nov-1 Dec 2013 at The Frankfurt LabMotion Bank's home base for the first phase of the project. 

Presentation panel left to right: Matteo Fargion, Ingo Diehl, Jonathan Burrows, Nik Haffner, Scott delahunta, Bebe Miller & Thomas Hauert. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

Activities began 28 November with a presentation of the new on-line Motion Bank materials with guest artists Jonathan Burrows & Matteo Fargion, Bebe Miller and Thomas Hauert, alongside Deborah Hay’s ‘Using the Sky’ first presented at Tanzkongress, June 2013. Approximately 200 people attended this evening presentation, followed by a chance to explore the websites on workstations installed in the foyer alongside other choreographic resources at the 'Books on the Move' stall.

View of audience during introduction. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

Following an introduction by project leader Scott deLahunta (download the text here), the panel discussed firstly the TWO project with Bebe Miller and Thomas Hauert, followed by Seven Duets with Jonathan Burrows & Matteo Fargion. As members of the Education Workgroup, Nik Haffner and Ingo Diehl shared aspects of the education research they had undertaken throughout the project -- more results of this research would be presented at the Experimental Study Platform on Saturday.

Guest choreographers Bebe Miller & Thomas Hauert. hoto: Jessica Schäfer

Motion Bank considers itself part of a growing Community of Practice from which an emerging collection of artist developed choreographic resources has been emerging. Several individuals working on these projects were invited to LOL13, and a list of the specific resources they had helped to develop was disseminated and the resources made available to participants at LOL13 (download the list here). The aim was to make possible in depth discussion about their contents with the people responsible for making them -- with the emphasis on organising small group and informal opportunities for exchange.

Florence Corin & Baptiste Andrien discussing their projects with Steve Paxton and Anna Halprin. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

Two large group discussions were organised during LOL13, the first was on Friday at mid-day on the theme COLLABORATION WITH CODE. This focused on the interdisciplinary collaboration with digital artists and designers at the core of some of the Community of Practice projects, including Motion Bank. Invited to be on the main panel were Daniel Turing, Nick Rothwell, Florence Corin, Baptiste Andrien, Florian Jenett, Chris Ziegler and Amin Weber. Zach Lieberman joined the discussion from the Choreographic Coding Lab running in parallel to LOL13.

Collaboration with Code Discussion. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

On the Friday afternoon a practical working session under the heading ‘Emerging Tools’ was organised to give exposure to various tools either developed as a result of resource creation or being used to support it. Presentations included the TKB Creative Tool and the on-line authoring system developed for the Motion Bank scores (read more about the system at the bottom of this report). Hands-on sessions with PM2GO (the Motion Bank video annotation tool based on Piecemaker) and Whatever Dance Toolbox (WDT) from BADco were offered.

Carla Fernandes presenting the TKB Creative Tool. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

Specialised digital tools that are easily useable by choreographers and dancers in the studio are not common due to various reasons ranging from values (belief that technology and dance do not go together), artistic (not the kind of tool the artist would like to use), practical (takes too much time to learn or requires an expert), and economic (too expensive). Erasing these last two points, WDT and PM2GO are both relatively easy to use and free. Related link: a 2001 research project Software for Dancers organised to address these issues.

Students from Palucca Hochschule für Tanz experimenting with WDT by BADco. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

Throughout the Motion Bank project, the Education Partners and the International Education Workgroup have been researching ways to integrate the new on-line digital scores and related choreographic resources produced by other artists into their academic programs (e.g. Coventry Education Workgroup Meeting). For the ‘Platform for Experimental Study’ which took place Saturday morning , students and staff from collaborating dance programmes in Frankfurt, Dresden and Berlin came together to share the results of their research.

Students (seated on the left) from the BA Dance, Palucca Hochschule für Tanz discuss their project. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

Participating in the LOL13 Platform were students and staff from: Masterprogram Contemporary Dance Education (MA CoDE (formerly MAZTP) from Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts; BA Dance from Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden; and the BA Dance, Context, Choreography and MA Choreography from Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin. Accompanying the Inter-University Center for Dance Berlin was the Meta-Academy, an online lab exploring embodiment & co-creation on the internet.

Students from the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

Several members of the International Education Workgroup were also present during LOL13, contributing to the discussions during the Experimental Education Platform and attending a final meeting on Sunday morning (download themes/ questions prepared for meeting here) to make plans for Phase Two. Several members of the Dance Engaging Science Interdisciplinary Workgroup also attended LOL13 and gathered for a final meeting (documentation and reports on Dance Engaging Science).

Final Experimental Education Platform discussion round. Photo: Jessica Schäfer

The second large group discussion came at the end of the event on Saturday late afternoon on the theme DISCOURSE FROM PRACTICE. This focused on the motivations and goals of the artists publishing their choreographic ideas in different media, on the impact of these efforts and on prospects for the future. Invited to be on the main panel were (left to right in photo) Maaike Bleeker, Kristien Van den Brande, Scott deLahunta, Jeroen Peeters, Bojana Cvejic and Sarah Whatley.

Discourse from Practice Discussion. Photo: Jessica Schäfer