York theatre Professor Gwenyth Dobie and dance Professor William Mackwood are currently in the Philippines presenting their latest research creation project with seven performing arts and educational institutions: Ballet Philippines, University of the Philippines Filipiniana Dance Group, Daloy Dance Company, the Association of Ballet Academies of the Philippines, Hip Hop International Philippines, and dancers, technical theatre students, computer science teachers and students from the De La Salle University.
Mackwood and Dobie, in collaboration with York digital media Professor Don Sinclair, have pursued a rigorous investigation of digital interactivity in live performance through a project titled “Butterfly: a study inter-active.” They are attempting to reach a better understanding of interactivity and how it might be used more effectively to enhance live performance.
Their research focuses on defining “emerging interactive modalities” in performance that is defined as “one in which digital technology is a vital element and there is a corporeal presence (live body) on stage and there is real-time interactivity between the two.” Considering that the standard theatre development and rehearsal model may be too inflexible for interactive design, they are working to identify new modalities by considering the roles of the animator performer, the animator technician, and a more flexible interactive process between the two.
In alignment with their sustainable approach to creative work, Dobie and Mackwood created an interactive “show in a bag” and they are literally carrying it around the world. They are sharing their ideas with other artists and educators who are investigating interactivity in live performance. Dobie, Mackwood and Sinclair value freedom of knowledge and are working to share their findings and exchange ideas with other practitioners using the Internet and through their continuous series of workshops.
“Butterfly” was previously presented at the International University Global Theatre Experience conference in December 2014 in Carrara, Italy, where it was acknowledged by the organizers as “one of the brightest events of the conference.” After the Philippines, the next stop for the workshop will be in Australia, where they will be presenting to the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Dobie, Mackwood and Sinclair will subsequently be presenting their findings at the Bodies on Stage: Acting Confronted by Technology conference in Paris, France this June.
For more information visit: www.outoftheboxproductions.ca