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Refractive Choreographies Night 2 - Chinatown

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The video dance piece was originally intended to be performed at the Urbanity Dance Spring Review (June, 2020), but the work was reconsidered because of a global pandemic. Producing the projections Pop-Up style: using a car, single channel projector, and sound system, MASARY and Urbanity Dance created a five-part public art piece to be experienced at a variety of safe distances.

The video works present the professional company dancers performing in a mediated environment filled with evolving digital representations of the performers projected onto the screen, as well as a growing Artificial Intelligence agent that learns from the performers. The AI agent mimics the human performers, moving with them and in response to their choreography, while producing its own inhuman artifact as a result of its learning processes.

Each piece can be viewed in isolation as a freestanding choreographic statement, where the projected dancer confronts their own consumption by digital media technologies. Over the course of the series, the artificial intelligence agents evolve and come to play a more immediate and present role in the work, with the digital representation of the human performer moving with the AI agent that has learned from each dancer’s movements and gestures.

The producing team activated the five-part series in South Boston, Chinatown, East Boston, Dorchester, and Allston.

Under the direction of Meg Anderson, Urbanity Dance Artistic Associate. In collaboration with Jeremy Stewart, Media Artist; Ryan Edwards, Composer; Samo, Projectionist; and the Urbanity Professional Company Dancers.

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