Figures was an interdisciplinary dance and art experience exploring six themes relating to the physicality of human body, (figure). Figures asked the audience to view these themes through a dual lens— how do these concepts apply to our bodies in both physical and digital spaces? We invited the audience to participate and contribute to this work. I produced Figures in collaboration with Hughes and Vecchione Dance Projects, a non-profit based out of New York and Alaska.
For the event I created: the branding for the event, an interactive website that audience members could explore and contribute to the work on, marketing materials, and six short videos that corresponded to the six dances being performed. The videos were projected onto the dancers as they performed each of the six sections.
The concept for FIGURES was born from a discussion about the body, health, aging, social media, and what it feels like to be human and inhabit the world in 2021. After brainstorming, we decided to make a dance performance accompanied by projections. The performance would have six sections—Angela and Christina of Hughes and Vecchione Dance Projects determined the themes and directions. They chose to explore the themes: Ability, Aging, Chorus Line, Crowd, Digitize, and Pain. Figures explores the human body at the intersection of the digital and physical worlds.
The Concept: Branding
The branding was directly inspired by the name of the show: FIGURES. The branding references old scientific anatomical posters/diagrams through a modern digital lens. The branding is high contrast and futuristic, evoking the cold feeling of the digital world. I used the dancers silhouettes to be the "figures" in the main image.
We marketed the event through Instagram, Eventbrite, and in person posters.
I built an interactive website which gave us a way to communicate and collaborate with our viewers. The website has all of the event information, a view into the process, the six videos, and an interactive discussion post section where people can contribute their thoughts to the work.
The website let viewers become familiar with the themes before the actual performance. Leading up to the event, the website acted as a work in progress, being constantly updated with new information and content until the day of the show. We wanted the site to be a way for the viewers to get a look at the behind the scenes and the process of creating this event.
For each of the themes that Angela and Christina chose, they choreographed a dance to match. While they worked on these dances remotely from Alaska and New York, I worked on the videos that would be projected onto them.
I interpreted each theme separately from them, making each video without seeing their choreography. We wanted to add an element of chance and surprise during the performance, only combining the two elements, dance and video, for the first time on the day of the show.
Six Sections: Ability
Ability was the only section where Angela and Christina did dictate what the video was going to be. Angela broke her arm in the months leading up to the performance, and this added a challenge to rehearsing. For this section the dancers wanted to explore the abilities and the limitations of the human body.
* Main Objective:
Evoke a visceral feeling when viewers watch the videos, in the space, during the performance.
Six Sections: Aging
For Aging I wanted to explore what it feels like to age, specifically as a woman. Aging is something that I think about on a daily basis as a 24 year old, and it scares me. I used this video as a way to explore the beauty that happens when you age. I wanted to reframe aging in my mind from something that is scary to something that can be beautiful and transformative.
Six Sections: Chorus Line
In Chorus Line I wanted to explore what conformity looks and feels like. The juxtaposition and fast pace in the video is meant to be unsettling and to call attention to some of the harmful ways that conformity exists in modern day society, especially for young women.
Six Sections: Crowd
For this video I wanted to create the feeling of what it feels like to be in a crowd— lost in a crowd of people, surrounded by a sea of bodies. The dizzying euphoria of being lost in a sea of people, and also what it feels like when this goes too far.
Six Sections: Digitize
Living in a digital world post-covid-19, technology and the internet is something we utilize on a daily basis, for many different purposes. Our bodies are subject to scrutiny online just as much as they are in person. We have to balance our digital and physical realities on a daily basis. I've been increasingly fed up with social media and the overload of technology we experience in today's society. This video explores these emotions.
Pain is something that we go to extreme lengths to avoid. It can be debilitating, life-changing, and crippling. It can overwhelm you— emotionally and physically. Pain comes in many different shapes and sizes. But I do believe that experiencing some pain can be transformative, and can be beautiful in the end. This video explores this feeling.
Six Sections: Pain
The performance took place at 72 Warren st in Tribeca on March 12, 6:30 PM.