Re: [Biped]

Camille Dickson (
26 Jul 99 11:56:08 MDT

I saw the piece on Saturday night and I was initially impressed. Then, I
began to expect more of the virtual creatures. I guess my expectations were a
bit too high. I would have liked to actually see the virtual
creatures/figures dance with the real ones on a some plane (whether virtual or
real) actually doing the same steps or enhancing what was already there.
Maybe I echo the audiences expectations or the feat was too simple and the
idea (by the choreographer(s)) was to titilate the minds by providing other

I also agree that the figures captured in a bubble-like anatomy lost something
- they weren't clear, although one could see that they were suppose to imitate
bodies doing movement.

This is actually the first time I've seen a Merce Cunningham performance -
where I'm from one very rarely gets an opportunity to see such

I enjoyed it very much and the piece planted many seeds of thoughts.

Camille Dickson-Deane wrote:
Hey Gang,

I don't remember now who it was who asked, but I saw the new
Cunningham/Riverbed/Bryars piece "Biped" last Wednesday in New York.
Kudos should be sent out to all involved because the piece was often
stunningly beautiful and affecting. Paul and Shelley's projected
animations, most of which were various moving shapes with only a few of
the hand-drawn humanoid motion-captured figures familiar from their
other recent works, were tasteful, showed a healthy range of movement
qualities, and actually increased (oddly enough for a two-dimensional
projected medium) my experience of the three-dimensionality of the live
performing space. Not all of their images worked (I'm thinking in
particular of some white bubble-like floating shapes that seemed
inconsistent with the tone of the elements that preceded and followed),
but, in all, I thought that their work, and its role within the larger
collaborative effort of the dance, music, lighting and projection, was
really fine. That said, I think it reflects my own biases that I thought
Cunningham's movement for the piece did not need all the trappings of
multimedia to create its magic. The choreography was stunning and often
deeply moving, probably Cunningham's most passionate (a word not often
used in conjunction with Merce) work. Take any opportunity you can to
see it live. It will never survive on video, particularly because video
doesn't have the light sensitivity range to pick up the projections and
the dancers at the same time. Take care out there, KD

Get free e-mail and a permanent address at