On October 30th the nearly month long embedded journalism project with @IJADdance culminated with watching the performance of the piece at the Science Museum’s Late Night.
The stage is set in a carpeted and heavily pillared area of the building. Interlocking taped circles adorn the floor, and hoops are held at waist height by taunt ropes stretching the length of the performance area.
The music is provided by beat box artist Jason Singh and is incredible- we hear explosions, beats, and even whale sounds. Given that it is live, it is absolutely incredible how in sync the dancers and the musician are.
The piece delves straight into space. The dancers are the planets, the stars. They are the universe; simultaneously they are dancing within the universe. They spin around each other, occasionally getting caught in each others’ orbit. The lighting mixes from blue and white space tones to a more energetic warm orange for the big bang.
The dance is energetic, strong, and impactful. Ellen Yilma’s solo dances are outstanding. She’s so small, lithe, but so strong and so powerful. The dancers at times are but a blur of light thanks to some wonderfully clever lights attached to their arms and feet. When still, they have the illusion of delicate stars in the night sky; when moving they are comets, planets, supernovas.
It was a beautiful performance, but it was so strange watching a performance where everyone had their phones out. The aspect of constant and limitless communication was an important part of the performance, and it was amazing to be able to look at the #infinitereach on twitter and see the thoughts of the other viewers. The conversation about the piece stretched out from within the walls of the Science Museum into the space and the world outside. There isn’t a limit to the potential of the reach, influence, and discussion of the piece. Social Media both allows and facilitates this, and in tweeting about the piece online we’ve created a space in time for conversation about the piece to indefinitely remain.
For me the piece had infinite reach in another way. I approached this project planning to do some lose artistic work inspired by it, but I didn’t realise just how inspired I’d be. I’m finding remnants from the experience creeping their way into my creative work, and it was a fantastic opportunity to be inspired and influenced by a different style from my usual work. I was also pleased as punch to be asked to do an illustration for the program, and it was such a fun challenge to tackle. It was also lovely to be able to contribute to a project which thrives on interaction.
If a work asks clever questions, and provides you will ample food for thought while considering them, then it’s a good one. This work does more than that – it continues the conversation, and aims to spread that conversation as far as possible – to infinity and beyond. This is clever, interactive, and thought-provoking dance, and I can’t wait to see what they get up to next.
Here’s the other blog pieces I wrote about the work: