'In the Flesh' is a virtual stereoscopic dance installation where state of the art computer manipulation of high definition images produces the illusion that the audience is in the presence of a real dancer.
Initial research funding for this project was provided by an ACE Grants for Arts award and a second GFA award given to complete the project.
'In the Flesh' is a virtual dance installation which takes my ongoing progression of development in the production of a solid dance presence by the use of stereoscopy (in 'Men in the Wall' and 'Doppelganger') to its ultimate conclusion – the presentation to the audience of a projection that is to all intents and purposes indistinguishable from a live performer.
The work takes an early twentieth century form of stereo drawing (commonly termed Phantography) and brings it into the digital video age. Parallel high definition video images are distorted using state of the art computing and then combined to produce a ceiling projected anaglyph image which is so accurate and lifelike that physical measurements can be taken of the relative limb positions.
Aside for the technical aspect of the filming the work demanded a new form of choreography that sees body encased in a virtual 3d frame. This use of the frame to constrain and inform a choreography has run through much of my work from 'Motion Control Anarchic Variations' and was the subject oaf a paper I gave at the ADF conference in North Carolina 2006 ('Framing the Body'). Also important is the fusing of different art forms, in this case poetry, music, choreography, technology, lighting to produce a form of Gesamtkunstwerk.
"The most uncanny thing I have ever seen"
(Deborah Levy – Novelist)
"A woman comes slowly towards you from the floor. Her meditative and soft energy involves you into her world and brings you to another dimension of the space. It’s as if you could touch her – a magical experience."
(Suzy Blok, Artistic Director, 'I Like to Watch Too' [Amsterdam 2007])
"In the flesh is beautiful and affecting, the installation makes you feel that you are with a live dancer. I wanted to reach out and touch this moving three dimensional projected image. This play with reality makes the experience almost ghostly."
(Mairead Turner, Chief Executive, South East Dance)
"Beautiful choreography, so intricate, delicate, human and real."
(Professor Joan Frosch, Asst Dir Schl 'Theatre and Dance', University of Florida)
"I very much liked the ‘in the flesh’ installation. It gave me a surreal feeling like being in ‘Alice in Wonderland’. It was like she was with me privately. It is a great development in dance filming. The reality and experience is very special."
(Janine Dijkmeijer, Director 'Cinedans' [Amsterdam 2007])
"It is hard to believe that it works but when you see it it’s wonderful."
(Kate Grenyer - Exhibitions Officer, Bargate Gallery, Southampton)
"Once I entered the installation, I felt as if I stepped into another reality – an environment of memories, nostalgia, poetry. It also felt that I was slowly sinking into a dream-like state, and there was a witness - a dancer to guide me through while I am in it. I engaged with that witness into a gentle and lyrical dance. She would rise up almost to my height, very near me and then recedes back into her shell. Mesmerizing! This was one of the very few situations with the 3-D installations when I could actually not think about technology behind the piece, but simply be with it and experience it. Very special!"
(Alla Kovgan – Director of Kinodance)
"The 3D experience, makes you search for an understanding of how the 3D image shifts as you move and sway around the projection, and this search turns your actions into a dance with the character. The work justifies and celebrates its existence with its seamless mixture of formal qualities, entertainment and creativity."
(Dedalus Wainwright - Assistant Director, 'Boston Cyberarts')