Dancing In and Around Technology: An Analysis of “Sticky” by the Da-Da-Dance Project

By Elisabeth Hostetter, Melanie Stewart and Eun Jung Choi.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 4, 2014 $US5.00

The divide between the projected image and the performer inspired choreographer Melanie Stewart and the Da-Da-Dance Project to devise a one-hour, cross-disciplinary, multi-cultural movement theatre piece titled “Sticky.” The emotionally charged duet dissects romantic relationships and the struggle over power, communication, fantasy, and compromise between a man and woman in love. To heighten tension and depict the communication and physical barriers between the two dancers, the company worked in a state-of-the-art, 100-cubic-foot, fully immersive, navigable and interactive virtual reality system, known as “the CAVE®,” on the campus of Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. The complex, 3-dimensional projected images created in the CAVE® were filmed and served as a psychological backdrop to the live dance performance. Stewart juxtaposed the “real,” corporeal world of the live dancers with a creatively constructed, idealized “imaginary” world projected on the massive flat screen at the back of the proscenium. This paper discusses the effectiveness, reception and future implications of integrating three-dimensional imaging and projection in modern dance performance. We explore the artistic intention behind using technology to create a subjective projected world in visual juxtaposition to the objective material world that challenges notions of “real” verses “fantasy” time/space continuums on stage. We also address the practical aspects of constructing the piece and the complexity of integrating the technology into live performance. We conclude with some thoughts and further questions on future applications and potential challenges of integrating three-dimensional imaging and projection in contemporary performance.

Keywords: Live Performance, Dance, Three-dimensional Imaging, Technology

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 4, Issue 2, June 2014, pp.61-67. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 337.139KB)).

Dr. Elisabeth Hostetter

Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA

Melanie Stewart

Professor and Department Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA

Eun Jung Choi

Artistic Co-Director, Da-Da-Dance Project, Philadelphia, Pennsyvania, USA