Matrix II is a reaction to my own personal life experience, and I express them in the only language that I speak well, the language of performance. The story was written and conceived in collaboration with Karola Lüttringhaus, Co-Artistic Director of ‘A Fortiori’ and Artistic Director of Alban Elved Dance Company.
Matrix II is based on the concept of the dehumanization and isolation caused by technology. The story explores the perception that the increasing pervasiveness of technology and our desire to intensify individuality perhaps tends to dehumanize and isolate us. Matrix II shows the reciprocal interconnectedness between people and their environment by defining the dancers’ world through animated geometrical and divergent projections. This digitally created totality reflects on and juxtaposes the dancers’ visceral expressions in their attempt to find emotional resonance.
The robotic culture of social media is globally epidemic. Matrix II stresses that physical contact to other human beings is an essential part of our make-up, and that our interaction with machines raises an important question: are we replacing the lack of physical connection with the intangible connection facilitated by digital devices and networks?
The design concept forms the starting point for the piece and rests on the idea of projected animations as the primary light source, thereby defining the space and the parameters within which the moving bodies exist. Biological characteristics are lost over time to the electronic/digital manifestation of the territory. Sharp edges and slicing vertical lines restrict and entrap. Electricity meets skin. Continuous horizontal lines rush through space and across the dancers’ bodies, and speak of a desire for tranquillity and balance, of the passing of time and the changing nature of our lives. The offsetting of black and white shadows, negative & positive images, suggests the interchangeability between points of view, between leader and follower. Although the projections and the dancers coexist, the scanning, driving, and intrusive nature of the animations suggests an authority over the living bodies.
Auburn University – Telfair Peet Theatre
Set, lighting, projection & animations design: Fereshteh Rostampour
Choreography, sound & costume design: Karola Lüttringhaus
Matrix II was nominated for Best Interactive & New Media Design at the World Stage Design 2013