La morsure (2000)

an interactive choreographic installation

Direction, choreography & conception : Andrea Davidson
Interactive programme : Andrea Davidson, Douglas Edric Stanley & Olivier Koechlin
Generative programme : Andrea Davidson & Olivier Koechlin
Scenario : Andrea Davidson & Douglas Edric Stanley adapted from the poem Le bûcher où brûle une by Julio Cortazar
Dancers : Toni d'Amelio & Fabrizio Chiodetti
Music : Dominique Besson
Interactive sound programme : Dominique Besson & Olivier Koechlin
Musician : Vascen Solakian (saz, kamentchi, guitar)
Scenography of the installation : Andrea Davidson & Leslie Garcias
Production director : Louis Bourgeois
Coproduction : Centro Petralata, Rome, Le Centre National de
la Danse
, Paris

In promoting a non-linear approach to narrative and a sensorial way of appreciating images, the installation employs a narrative generator, touch sensitive interactivity and choreographic gesture as means to tell a story.

Inspired by Julio Cortazar's poem Le bûcher où brûle une (The Fire on Which She Burns), the work takes as its theme issues of desire and betrayal in a couple's relationship and proposes three perspectives onto their story.

Spectators enter a room with two video monitors on opposite
walls that present the man and the woman's account of their
failed relationship. Shot in a documentary style, the videos
create a certain ambiguity between the characters' identities as actor-dancers and as real-life persons.

The far wall displays video images of their story that are being piloted in real-time by spectators in a changing cabin interacting with a choreographic programme. Entering one side of the cabin, they access the interactive station that activates a memory bank
of virtual scenes. Composed of three sections, the programme proposes scenes of the story as Poloroid shots to be "unfolded" or "tried out" as one would try on clothes or new identities in a changing room.

Placing one's hand through an opening in the wall, gestures
with a hidden mouse control the quality, speed and direction
of the dancers' movements on screen.

The dispositive simultaneously proposes an aural interaction:
interactive gesture reveals phrases of spoken text, music and sounds such as breaths, footsteps, running water or clothes rustling. Creating a real-time interactive musical score, the cabin becomes
a sort of sound chamber of rythmic and dramatic expression.

On the other side of the cabin, the spectator's hand is seen in a plexiglass box. A monitor underneath displays a book on which lines of Cortazar's poem appear and disappear with gestures of
the mouse. The interactive poem offers an alternative means to unravel the couple's story although the spectator on the other side of the cabin, is unaware that his or her gestures are controlling interactions on both sides of the cabin.

Offering several points of view onto the choreography, the
work alternately places spectators in the role of passive witnesses to the couple's story or participants or influencing the course of the narrative and "responsible" for its outcome.













La morsure installation ISEA 2000

Commissioned by the festival Il Corpo Eccentrico at Centro Petralata, Rome,
and the Centre National de la Danse, Paris, the installation La morsure premiered on May 9, 2000 in Rome. It was also shown in December 2000 during ISEA 2000 and at the Monaco Danses Dances Forum. Solo exhibits include the festival Media Dance Collection, Dusseldorf (2001); the festival Écriture numérique : Figures & miroirs de l’autre at the École des Beaux Arts de Valence, Valence (2002); La Lune en Parachute, Nancy; and the Festival Babel Danse, Espace Culture Multimédia, St-Brieuc (2006) . Amongst other group exhibits, the work was presented at DIGIT@RT, Villette Numérique (25 works) at Cité des sciences, La Villette, Paris (2003) and Tanzmediale (15 works) organized by Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, (2005).

The Canada Council, Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Le Ministère de la Culture (Direction de la Musique et de la Danse), the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, Le Laboratoire Esthétique d'Interactivité de l'Université Paris 8, SACD (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques), La Fondation Beaumarchais, Centro Petralata, Rome, Le Centre National de la Danse, Paris, Anomos France and Hyptique, Paris.

Photos : Frantz Gacogne