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  • Writer's pictureSunita Asnani

#3 Digital Twin / Part 1

Joana and I have been researching the topic of projection and movement together for four weeks now - and there is still an infinite amount to discover.

Digital Twin

In order to have enough darkness for projection, we have shifted our rehearsal times to after 8pm at least once a week. It is quite a strange experience to dance in the darkness of the winter night in this light projection. It feels like a parallel world that we enter as soon as the lights go out.

The feeling kind of reminds me of nights when I get lost in the internet. There are these two simultaneous realities: a very intimate one where I'm sitting in the kitchen in the stillness of the night, the refrigerator whirring quietly behind me, breathing and feeling, I look into the screen, and there's the world behind the screen. Reality seems divided in two if not several times - divided....

The projected grid seems to me more and more like a symbol for the digital world. The web through which we glide, slip, or get caught. I begin to skim a few texts on the body in the digital world and stumble across the term "digital twin" - which somehow seems quite fitting for the work that could be created here. A digital twin represents a real object in the digital world. They can be tangible or intangible objects. They are used for simulations and complex analyses.

The following sentence sticks:

"From all sides, technology encircles the material body, which pales in its overpowering face, slowly becomes transparent, to seemingly dissolve altogether." - Jörg Müller, from "Virtual Bodies.

5 Movements (text by Joana Hermes)

We work on a short choreography (phrase), for this we continue to use the projection with grid. The phrase consists of 5 movements that form a loop. There are endless possibilities how a phrase can be changed, but always starting from the "original". To vary the phrase, we actually "just" play with time, space and energy. We develop by connecting, combining, evolving, observing, confronting and taking stock of it.

We have already used this approach: Tempo/speed of movement, narrow or wide positions, large and small arm movements, pauses, repetitions, accumulation, positional versus moving on. Furthermore, we tried to apply Rudolf Laban's "eight efforts" to the phrase:

Wring - Press - Flick - Dab - Glide - Float - Punch - Slash.

However, we do not specify these changes. Concretely, when one of us decides on a variation of the next movement, she speaks it out loud. For this, we set words.

Since we do not know in advance how the next movement will be executed, we are in an alert and attentive state. We have to be constantly ready to spontaneously change direction, position or tempo.

For me, this means concentrating on moving my body axis and center of gravity in the most flexible way possible, and being as aware as possible both internally and externally, so that I can react spontaneously and execute the movement tasks immediately.

The difficulty is to always remain synchronized in the duo. As if we were one body or one body and its shadow. When our spines move "together" and we shift our weight at the same time, we stay in sync. We have found that the closer we are together, the stronger the image. Once we get too far apart or stop moving at the same time, the phrase is less intriguing.

To conclude, an inspiring quote from dancer, choreographer and educator Jaqueline Robinson: "The most important method of composition is indeed development, which potentially includes all the others, in the sense that each method does nothing but develop the original idea to make a situation emerge."

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