Hacking Choreography

Hacking Choreography 2.0 combines creative concepts from choreography and dance composition with the technical principles involved in computer programming. The premise was that the creative process of conceiving and structuring choreographic material has parallels with the process of developing algorithms and transforming information structures in software - a process which we also regard as both exploratory and creative. As a starting point, we looked at the semantic basis of the programming language Clojure, a contemporary variant of Lisp which combines functional programming with state-of-the-art mechanisms for manipulating structured data. The way in which Clojure represents data informed the visual structure and aesthetic of the projected text-based geometry which was used as a cueing system by the dancer.

We spent one week of residency time developing a custom software system to support live coding (using the Field platform developed by the OpenEnded Group, working in both Clojure and Python to design and implement a custom realtime-based animation scheduler), and developing movement vocabulary from a basis incorporating terms for parts of the human body and qualities of movement, in the vein of the effort-graph system developed by Rudolf Laban. The result was a 20-minute structured improvisation encompassing algorithmic projection and live software coding by the choreographer.

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