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Drones Create A Tech Savvy Modern Dance Performance

technology

Dance troupe Eleven Play choreographed and performed a piece with both humans and unmanned aerial vehicles together.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 21 may 2014

Most people probably identify unmanned aerial vehicles or drones as those things that fly around and deliver products — be it a package for an individual, fertilizers for a whole field of crops — or gather information or images like environmental conditions and aerial photos. They have also been known to function quite well as tools for abstract painting. And now, drones are showing everyone that they can hold their own as well in the world of dance and performance arts.

Eleven Play, a Japanese dance company led by director and choreographer MIKIKO, recently performed a piece with both dancers and drones together. The dance group performed their mesmerizing piece at the Spiral Hall in Tokyo.

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In their performance piece with the drones, three dancers and three drones execute the routine on an all-white stage with a few black screens scattered around it. For the first minute or so the drones follow and interact with the dancers as if they were pre-programmed to react and respond to the dancers’ moves. The dancers stretch and contract their arms as if they were pushing and pulling the drones along. Then the drones start moving to their own beat and the dancers slowly retreat off the stage to leave the drones to their own devices. The drones become the only performers on the stage with a light projection accompanying them.

The performance is captivating and can even be a little unsettling for some since it literally showcases the idea of drones “dancing” by themselves. Of course, they are likely controlled by a person off the stage, but the piece itself presents the potential of drones in the areas of entertainment and art.

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The dance group Eleven Play consists of ten members and has been known to incorporate the latest technologies into their dance style and routines. Some of their past performances included routines with LEDs and light projection, digital screens, and even iPads. The group’s performance with the drones is another proof of how people can take advantage of technology to augment artistic expression.

Watch a video of the performance.

Eleven Play

[h/t]: Prosthetic Knowledge

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