A movement event for lunging silhouetted figures, a musical concert for loudspeakers, and a light show, Extra Shapes asks what happens when – and can – a performance operate outside the mechanisms of representation, metaphor, charisma, identification.

This new performance project by DD Dorvillier/human future dance corps, will feature separate but simultaneous scores for dancers, loudspeakers, and lights, created in collaboration with a cast of 3 to 5 dancers, choreographer DD Dorvillier, lighting designer Thomas Dunn, and composer Sébastien Roux. The piece occupies a rectangular space divided into three distinct horizontal bands of equal depth, viewed and heard first from front to back (sound in the front, light in the middle, dance in the back), then rotating periodically, to show the side,  back, and other side, over the course of the piece.

“Like gently rotating a slice of neopolitan ice-cream on a plate in front of you”

There will be an architectural and material approach to the focusing of lights and an acutely spatialized configuration of speakers. One can picture a wall made out of light, between the dancers and the sound, through which the dancers would never consider passing. Each space, through its own means, attempts to remain autonomous.  As in past human future dance corps works, the emphasis will be on the boundaries of sound, light, and dance – how one cannot replace the other, no substitutions. Music does things that neither light nor dance can do, and vice versa. In this new work the idea is to present the three mediums simultaneously but separately, and to propose a  way of experiencing and thinking  about abstraction, not as reduction or estrangement, but as an excitement of potentiality. The aim is to leave the cross-perception and interpretation of parts and their relationships to the viewer

Getting away from self-expressiveness, from projecting meaning, elucidating content beyond the immediate context of an action and doing so in the most difficult way possible, by using the body and even typically dramatic and expressive conditions – these are characteristics of my current working tendencies and processes. I work with thinking and corporeality.

DD Dorvillier: Though I have been recently using a variety of media and technologies, cinema, sound installation, drawing, sculpture, my inquiry generally springs from questions about the perception and representation of the body, human presence, and my own subjective relationship to “dance.” I am fascinated by the phenomenon of language, and its subsequent breaks, and failures. The body is the obvious and perfect bridge in those impossible gaps. Thinking is the fluid that lubricates the bridge.

Meaning is essential, but I believe that it is something that arises in tandem with the process, not as an arbiter of form. The dialogue between meaning and form is dynamic and mercurial. It’s an old idea that the crystallization of form in action does not need to be contingent upon a pre-emptive understanding of its purpose, but it seems to still be an issue.

I see the work that my global community of artists who think has to do in the field of dance and live performance, and it is an infinite terrain of exciting possibility. I believe this potentiality, that resists a paradigm of artistic success or failure, is a crucial and liberating substance for our culture and society today..

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