UNTIL now the main draw of Elsinore’s young, uneven, damn-near-unmissable art-meets-tech festival has been its music programme. In May this year, however, theatrics and dance stole the show.
used a holographic stage, stereographic projections and body-tracking to convince the audience that a solo performer was struggling to be born within a reactive bubble of light.
Stereo was a tough, violent attempt by dancers Fanny Barrouquere and Jonas Örknér to become one conjoined, inhuman, flexing thing. Stereographically projected objects filled and explored the entire performance space, whose walls and floor might at any second fall away in wheeling fragments.
Toward the end of the piece, the dancers rested in gloom while a bright bar of light slid down between them. Slowly, the bar of light moved forward and as I focused on it, I found myself fusing two dancers into one: a beast with two backs indeed, writhing and terrible.
Tung-Yen Chou’s Taipei-Copenhagen told of a love affair between a denizen of Copenhagen (by some measures, the world’s happiest city) and Taipei (one of the least happy). The set was a fluctuating point cloud that, through a combination of the Pepper’s ghost illusion and stereographic projections, let the actors move behind, in front of, and even around virtual objects, and walk up walls.
Producer Mikael Fock said afterwards that with this kind of theatre “we move through whole worlds, so we don’t need a narrative line”. This is like saying that now I’ve attached a spoiler to the back of my car, I may as well throw away the engine.
Click can be complacent. It can be wrong-headed. It can also, at one and the same moment, be gobsmackingly accomplished. So write May 2017 in your diary. Now.
This article appeared in print under the headline “Festival on!”
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