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a choreographic score

“A choreographic score” is a generative path which delivers a visually poetic output, possesses a choreographic capacity and is meant to be translated into dance.

produced by: Eirini Kalaitzidi

Concept _

The aim of the artwork is to both incorporate a moving behaviour and also constitute a method with which a dance artist could choreograph. The printed score could be seen as a plan, as a libretto, as an instruction, as a hint, as a tool or as a whole play. My creative purpose is not to limit its potential essence but to offer it as a visual information of time, space and form, oscillating between a choreographer and a performer, who both are free to interpret it as much poetically or descriptively as they wish. What will emerge between them, cannot be controlled or foregone. “A choreographic score” is in the disposal of the recipient minds and bodies.

Visuals _

The score consists of a sequel of figures capturing a pose. They are shaped out of lines of different sizes and angles; partly clear, partly disordered. A ‘noisy’ wave underneath the figures gives the impression of a bottom support, with one visible end and one hidden. It is an irregular platform that takes a hairpin turn and vanishes beyond the score’s window. Over these black and white visuals, the only coloured elements are flocks of points of equal number to the figures, pointing out certain parts of the main ‘bodies’. Below the wave, a final discreet element is added: one number under each figure.

Technical process _

The wave was the first element to be built. It is a curveVertex-consisted shape that follows a wave equation with fixed endpoints. Noise( ) was decided to rule over the movement of the overall score and therefore, the wave was supposed to provide the corresponding values. Nature of Code (Chapter 13: Mathematics) was the guide through this procedure.

Then followed the creation of the figures. Their smooth movement and the small differentiations among them were based on the wave’s Y-axis coordinates. This was probably the most time-consuming and creatively challenging part of the whole project.To facilitate this process, ControlP5 Sliders were used over some parameters (wave’ s lowest/highest Y coordinate, wave’ s frequency, wave’ s angle). Afterwards, a new visual element, one which would not depend on the wave, was inserted: flocks of points, with three different forces applied on them (separation, alignment, cohesion). Technically, this was a new topic to conquer but Craig Reynolds’ ‘Boids’ and Daniel Shiffman’s tutorials on autonomous agents and flocking simulations, provided great supportive material. Finally, an array of symbols (letters or numbers or any semiotically familiar symbol) completed the score, generating a different symbol for each figure in every second.

Self Evaluation _

I witnessed and experienced the application of my code in a choreographic context for the very first time and this is an accomplishment per se that affects me emotionally. I acknowledge the fact that I sacrificed some of my creative visions and code expansions while trying to overlap technical difficulties (i.e. adding more behaviours to the class of Boids) but overall I used Processing as a tool to create a manifold plan as if i was giving allusive choreographic instructions to a dance artist. The score contains space, time, form and it awaits for a dramaturgic direction to turn it alive.

Recalling Deborah Hay’s score: “take six steps into the light without taking a step”, I feel pleased for maintaining my faith in poetic and abstract.

References and Inspiration _

The Nature of Code by Daniel Shiffman, https://natureofcode.com/book/chapter-3-oscillation/

Boids by Craig Reynolds, http://www.red3d.com/cwr/boids/

Golan Levin, 2016, Ghost Pole Propagator II, http://www.flong.com/projects/gpp-ii/

Motion Bank project of The Forsythe Company, (Scores), 2010-2013, http://motionbank.org/en/content/scores.html

Rosenberg, Susan, 2012, “Trisha Brown’s NoteBooks”, 2012 October Magazine, Ltd. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, https://monoskop.org/images/8/83/Rosenberg_Susan_2012_Trisha_Browns_Notebooks.pdf

Millard, Olivia, 2016, “What’s the score? Using scores in dance improvisation”, published in Brolga 40, https://ausdance.org.au/articles/details/whats-the-score-using-scores-in-dance-improvisation

Vilkaityte, Austeja, 2011, “Work with scores in the creating process”, https://skemman.is/bitstream/1946/9072/1/Lokaritgerd.pdf