by Michelle Yeh
This multimedia dance theater show explores and challenges the boundaries of storytelling via dance and what we deem as ‘language,’ exploring how the body and movement as an embodied practice act as storytelling medium to supplement and fill the gap that the written word once stood. The piece begins in 1995 when a college-aged Taiwanese-American adoptee visits her birthplace, Ji-an, Hualien in Taiwan, looking for answers, and goes missing after a typhoon. What transpires after her disappearance is a meditation on absence and presence, exploring the sociopolitical, historical and colonial implications of written language as a means of intellectual memory — a vessel of cultural knowledge. By bringing the audience on a journey through the Hearst Dance Theater, this immersive interdisciplinary dance theater piece, aims to understand just what is lost when language and the stories it contains ceases to be. How then does the body lend voice and reclaim these elusive narratives?
In addition to movement choreography, “rén(shān/hǎi)” uses a mix of spoken text, interviews, live musicians (under the direction of Resident Music Director, Vince Di Mura), aboriginal Taiwanese music and video projection to create an audiovisual landscape that challenges the lines between pre-recorded media and live performance.
rén(shān/hǎi) from Michelle Yeh on Vimeo.
OS X Ageratum (Turing Test Version)
by Yasmine Eichbaum
This an immersive multimedia dance piece which interrogates the roles of the audience and performer but also ponders the tension between the individual and the collective. The performance begins with the product launch for a device powered by a novel operating system. OS X Ageratum is a fictional system software, wherein choreography represents the operating system that directs the dancers who comprise the hardware of this machine. Upon entering the Hearst Theater, the audience is transported to a new realm. Because of the fluid nature of the staging, the boundaries, especially the physical boundary, between viewer and performer are blurred. The performers alternate between their part as a cog of a larger apparatus and splintering off and regaining their agency as individuals. How can technology impose news ways of being?
The multimedia experience is underpinned by visual projections of the choreographic process as well as music that spans Janelle Monaé’s discography, under Resident Music Director Vince Di Mura’s music direction.