Re: discussions/plans

Dawn Stoppiello (
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 22:47:12 +0100

>Dawn and Diane exhort us to be short, but then again if we are short or
>cannot discuss issues we face in detail, then we may not need this list.

Not suggesting that you "be short", just reporting my own frustration with
not being able to keep up with the conversations. I am printing out several
posts to take with me on my 2+ hour train ride to Long Island. Then maybe I
can respond, if not respond at least I can read them.

And to all:

I have been having some questions lately about the "usefulness" of
interactivity in live performance. The biggest question being that if you
are using a new instrument (an interactive sensing system of one sort or
another) then must the content of the piece be "the instrument"? Case in
point is that we are currently working on a dance quartet that takes place
inside a grid system of infra-red light beams. The dance, at this point
does not fully take advantage of the system, the dancers have not been
given material that allows them to "play" the instrument thus far. But I
feel that with rehearsal we will discover how the instrument works and will
organically find time & material within the dance to play the instrument
while remaining true to the content of the piece which has loosley to do
with seperation vs. belonging to a group.

Unfortunately we were not able to make the grid system before I started
making the dance so the integration of the technology has been secondary.
So far the piece is not totally working for us and we are struggling with
sollutions. I think perhaps the real question is why is the grid system
there? Is it enough to just have it there because we are interested in it's
possibilities and are still experimenting with it? And, is it "ok" to show
it to an audencience while it is in this state?

All of the theorhetica/educational/planning disscussion is very exciting
and I want to commend Sott DeLajunta for being an excellent moderator of
sorts and bringing all of the threads together, and now I want to add
another thread; the practical presenting of these works to the public on a
regular basis.

We here at Troika Ranch are an independent entity primarily concerned with
making dance performance that utilizes new technologies and bringing it to
the general public as often as we can. We face issues like how are we going
to go into a theater for an audition where we have a 15 minute time limit,
set up our gear (know that it WILL work) do our thing - knock their socks
off - unplug and leave. We are also asking questions not about whether the
audience will understand the implications of technology, the
post-biological sureealist, yadda-yadda but will the audience like this
dance that I hve made. Will they come and see our work again next time?
Have we really had enough rehearsal time to pull this piece off? Etc.

We do our research & developement in front of an audience usually. We want
to spit out work, build a repetory, promote ourselves as a dance company
that uses technology not technologists who do some dancing. It has been
difficult to break into the dance community in New York (probably for the
limited visibility of these new kinds of work) and I feel that most of my
personal interactions are with computer music people in computer music
departments (don't get me wrong - I really like these people) I am just
anxious to be having more interaction with choreographers/dancers/dance
presenters/dance audiences. Sigh. Maybe I am just over anxious, just gotta
be patient. Ranting.

Anyway...any thoughts on what I've just typed?


Dawn Stoppiello / Artistic Co-director / Troika Ranch /
416 W. 23rd Street #3D New York, NY 10011 / 212.691.9547