Re: Dance and technology

Richard Lord (
Mon, 4 Oct 1999 13:47:49 +0100


One immediate thought occurs - have you been watching the Channel4
documentary on the 1900 house. (for those outside the UK, they restored a
home to it's 1900 condition - gas lighting, etc. - and then have a family
trying to cope with living there) Haven't been able to watch it myself -
life keeps getting in the way - but it may reveal something about
society's dependence on technology.

As far as dance is concerned: For myself, whether I consider the work to
be "dance and technology" or just dance, I always seem to depend on
technology for

- lighting; not forgeting the lights in the rehearsal studio as well as
the performance venues

- music recording and playback on CD-ROM

- video recording of rehearsals for reference, to show dancers what's
going right and wrong, to remind myself of what I've choreographed

- coordinating everything by telephone

- writing funding applications, planning budgets and maintaining
accounts, writing letters and contracts, publicity materials, press
releases all of which I use a computer for

- transport to/from rehearsals and performances

- keeping food fresh so I can have a decent meal when I get home after


Technology is everywhere and pervades everything and I depend on it for
almost everything I do.

When I create a "dance and technology" work, I choose to work with
technology and my attitude to it is very different. That concious act of
choice makes me feel less dependent - I can make dance without using
motion capture but I have chosen otherwise because of the nature of what
I'm trying to make. I can't make a dance without using a telephone.

In time I'm sure more technologies will join the list of "necessary"

The use of a video camera in rehearsals sits on the cusp - it's not yet
necessary technology but I don't feel like it's a choice either; I want
to record what's going on and this is the best way to do it. I don't care
about the camera, I just want (and expect) it to work. Hence I get very
frustrated when it doesn't. In contrast I'm pleasantly surprised when
motion capture or other technology brought in for a specific project
works correctly first time.

I don't know if any of this is what you want to hear - it would be easier
if you were to ask specific questions.


P.S. When are you looking to do the placement? (I was asked about a
placement by some other students from King Alfred's last year, but it
didn't fit in with my plans)

>Hello everyone out there, this is my first letter to you all so I hope you
>can answer a few questions of mine!!!
>I am a student at King Alfred's College Winchester, England and I am in my
>final year studying Dance. For my Dissertation I am looking closely at the
>dependency of society on technology. As there is limited information about
>new technology's in dance I would appreciate any information about peoples
>experience in this field!
>I am also looking to do a placement in England so that I can fully emerge
>myself and learn about the new technology's available!!!!
>If anyone could be of any help it would be greatly appreciated!!!
>Emma Sweeney

Richard Lord
Big Room