Production Details / Press Releases
“Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.”
― Donna J. Haraway
Two dancing bodies on stage. One is a living machine – a human body. The other a programmed machine – an artificial intelligence.
Both were trained in folk dances. One five years at the academic dance institution. The other one is a machine learning algorithm that has learned dozens of folk dances from around the world, and has been trained to choreo(cybero)graph synthetized “folk” dances on its own.
Between these dancing partners unfolds a dialogue, charged with traditions and potentialities, both open and specific, harmonising and contesting, mechanical and spiritual.
They search for an alliance that invites us to explore the ability of a body to build and rebuild itself in a perpetual act of unlearning automatic habits, making the other body move renewed, while abstracting their movement into an autonomous aesthetic field.
Folk dances transmit the legacy of disciplining the bodies while framing them into representations of cultural identities. As we are acknowledging complexities and hybrid identities in our contemporary world, shouldn’t we rethink and hybridise the former “dances of the people” as well? Can artificial intelligence help us to de-hierarchize and reinvent these inherited bodily practices? What could be the kinaesthetic construction of the future world and who will be moving/running/choreographing/driving/leading whom?
With this work, Irina Demina continues her exploration of tradition and technology, as already laid out in her last pieces “AcT II” (2020) and “Perpetual Myth” (2021).
Irina Demina is a choreographer and dance artist, based in Berlin. She received her dance education in Moscow and Hamburg, graduated from Moscow State Lomonosov University (Faculty of Philology) and received a Master degree in Choreography at Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin (HZT).
As a dancer she worked with the choreographers Xavier Le Roy, Jochen Roller, Angela Guerreiro, Soodong Jung, Jessica Nupen, Halla Olafsdottir among others.
Since 2008 she is developing her own choreographic projects (Perpetual Myth 2021, On the Silver Planet 2021, Herbarium LAB 2019, Be Water, My Friend 2017, Banshee Ragout 2017, TRAUMLABOR. reality check 2016, Accumulalalation 2014 etc).
For her performances and choreographies Irina has received national and international recognition. In 2021 she was awarded the Fellowship by the Pina Bausch foundation. In 2017 she was part of the international art project for the Winter Olympics in South Korea. On behalf of various institutions Irina was invited for choreographic residences in Germany, South Korea, Norway, Spain, Hungary, Russia etc.
Irina’s work is inspired by experimentation with body fictions and creation of a performative dialogue between analogue and digital, tradition and technology, fiction and reality, while dancing on the edges between history and modernity, sense and nonsense, seduction and repulsion, (unknown) past and (uncertain) future.
TFB Nr. 1641
Cast & Credits
Concept, artistic direction, co-choreography: Irina Demina
Choreo(cybero)graphy: KLOF model
Co-choreography, dance: Viktória Kőhalmi
Sound Design: Michelangelo Contini
Machine Learning programming: Dávid Samu
Computer animation: Yaron Maïm
Stage design: Yue Ying
Costume design: Justyna Gmitrzuk
Light design & projection: Agustín de Olarte
Dramaturgical support: Ana Letunić
Production: Tammo Walter
Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Capital Cultural Fund).
Research supported by Arbeits- und Recherchestipendium (research stipend) and Tanzpraxis scholarship by Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin.
DOCK 11 / DOCK ART GmbH
The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):
University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)