In a recent documentary, US public-supported broadcaster PBS profiles Troika Ranch, the landmark New York dance company that fuses technology and movement. The collaboration of Dawn Stoppiello and Mark Coniglio, Troika has long been influential in finding ways of working with media. Coniglio’s software has itself had a huge impact on media art, from his fairly-unknown early program Interactor to his latest Isadora, popular with live visualists and choreographers alike.
Here, PBS traces the development and rehearsal of loopdiver. And, oh yeah, art isn’t easy:
What begins as an experiment involving the loops and repetitions created by today’s computerized modern world evolves into a complex exploration into the repetitive patterns in which ordinary people find themselves trapped. Over the course of two years, company members struggle with their own inner turmoil as they master the work’s complicated choreography.
The documentary premiered in July on PBS affiliates, but wherever you are in the world, you can watch the full video online. The full-length documentary is embedded below, after the jump.
By the way, I had the chance to work with Mark as part of a residency a few years ago at Dance Theater Workshop in New York – a residency that is now, sadly, defunct. It was a tremendous learning experience, and it also bears saying that Mark is a tremendously nice and generous guy.
Loopdiver: Journey of a Dance [Program Page, PBS]
Also, some older videos (2007) show an excerpt of the piece and – years before Kinect – some of the technology involved.