The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is a choreographic work based on the novel of the same name by William Blake that combines dance, electroacoustic composition, interactive technology and cognitive science in a scenic format.
The central core of Blake is the restoration of the union of apparently irreconcilable opposite pairs, because, as the poet said “without opposites there is no progress”. On the one hand, there is the virtuous clarity of techno-scientific rational thinking (heaven, logos) and on the other, the perverse and overwhelming creative forces of imagination and instinct, which emerge from body energy (hell, mythos).
“Blake’s original work defies genres by organically combining a great variety of elements: from illustrations, poems, parodies, an original mythology, a political anthem or religious manifests, to an entire theory of perception and several descents into the underworld. In our scenic vision, these elements emerge from the body of the dancers in the form of audible entities and visual imagery developed using high technology: models of artificial intelligence and sound synthesis connected in real time to the movements of the dancers.
The coupling between the bodies on the stage and the interactive digital technology extends the body energy of the dance to other sensory modalities such as acoustics and visual imagery. The proposed work is bridging a gap between abstract techno-scientific thinking and the concrete experience of the body”, the Stocos Institute explains.
The work analyses expressive aspects of body movement, such as energy, fluidity, symmetry or impulsivity, translating them (in real time) into audible and visual digital abstractions. The Stocos Institute transforms the scenic space into a reactive environment which springs from the body activity of the dancers. It explores the limits of choreographic imagination and creates an augmented reality of dance.
This project uses technology designed for the development of dance in the European Project WhoLoDancE, part of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) programme under Horizon 2020 (H2020), of which the Stocos Institute is a beneficiary partner.
ABOUT INSTITUTO STOCOS
Artificial intelligence, biology, mathematics, and experimental psychology can be danced. The expansion of the body energy of dance to other sensory modalities, thanks to technology, is the field of research of choreographer and dancer Muriel Romero and composer Pablo Palacio. Romero, who began her career with choreographers such as Forsythe or Jiří Kylián, teamed up with Pablo Palacio to found the Stocos Institute, from whence they analyse and develop the interaction between gestures, sounds, and visual imagery. They use technology to develop dance. They investigate three-dimensional movement on a stage on which bodies interact with audible and visual entities. Fruit of its own imagination, the Stocos Institute has produced a series of scenic works that act as an artistic dissemination of their research. Their work, for example Acusmatrix, Catexis, Stocos, Double Bind, Neural Narratives1: Phantom Limb, Neural Narratives2: Polytopya or Piano & Dancer speak in this new language that they have invented.
The theoretical body that Muriel Romero and Pablo Palacio generate is studied in conservatories and universities all over the world. They have participated in pioneering European research projects such as WhoLoDancE, Metabody, and D.A.N.C.E. They have also been collaborating since 2010 in the development of Motion Composer, a technology oriented toward the interaction between body and sound for people with disabilities.
Direction: Pablo Palacio and Muriel Romero
Coreography: Muriel Romero
Music: Pablo Palacio
Starring: Fabrice Edelmann, Clyde Emmanuel Archer, Katerina Humenyuk, Arnau Pérez, Lucía Estévez Almenzar, Gabriella de Alteriis, Teresa Garzón and Aina Canela
Interactive visual simulation: Daniel Bisig
Software and technology: Daniel Bisig, Pablo Palacio and Infomus Casa Paganini
Light: Juan Carlos Gallardo
Costumes: Stocos Institute
Production: Pablo Palacio
Coproduction: Naves Matadero – Centro Internacional de Artes Vivas, Teatro Museo Universidad de Navarra
With the support of: Comunidad de Madrid, EU ICT H2020, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Teatros del Canal, Hebel Halle (Heidelberg, Alemania), Infomus-Casa Paganini- University de Genova (Génova, Italia) and Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology of Zurich
Language: Spanish and English