In 2009 me and dancer/choreographer Ege Özdogan began working on an idea for an interactive dance road performance. The aim was creating a performance to which the audience would add moves, and the moves would affect the music; partly create it, and the music would affect the projections.
The concept of the dance road performance was to incorporate the persons and places we’d meet in the movements and the text; make them collaborators, and in a way the audiences affecting each other through their shared participation.
This video was a part of the performance, and shot in both Sweden and Senegal. Guess which beach is in which country?
Ege and I met through working with young persons with severe disabilities, and wanted to find ways to make even small moves from the participants – like winking with an eye – have big effects.
We also wanted to investigate movement as language and communication, how/if dancers can have a dialect in their moves, and what that would add. Both in the meeting between classical and contemporary dance, and West African contemporary/classic mixed with Northern Europe contemporary/classic.
The music would be a mix between preproduced music and collaboration with local musicians.
We made it a collaboration between Swedish and Senegalese dancers, choreographers, musicians and composers, and received a residency at l’ecole des Sables and grants from Swedish cultural counsils to work on the project.
We owe Jant-Bi a lot for introducing us to Alioune Diagne; choreographer, dancer and artistic director for Compagnie Diagn’Art and the Senegalese festival Duo Solo Dance for contemporary dance (http://duosolodanse.com ) , who’s also involved in art projects for children.
For the interaction part we worked with visual artist Rikard Jönsson (KubKub), who showed us how to create a piano, a symphony orchestra and a drum set out of a video camera and a computer with a vj-software.
To have a common ground to stand on – and again referring to movement as language and communication – a part of the choreography would be based on the moves in semaphor, spelling out the first article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Since we wanted to play also in areas where electricity isn’t to be taken for granted we had to cut down on the software dependent interaction on the tour. What we added instead was making attaya – the very sweet traditional Senegalese tea – onstage, and inviting the audience to it.
When the attaya set was assembled (through out the performance pieces of it was found on a fictional beach) and the water boiling the crowd was cheering!
To read more about the project please visit;