unmute

3 dancers, 2 percussionists, 5 metal sheets, ‘myo’ sensors, computers [80′]

unmute is a concert and a dance performance, a hybrid outcome of a creative encounter between choreographer Keren Levi and composer Yannis Kyriakides. It is a musical and visceral event for and by 3 dancers and 2 musicians - members of percussion ensemble Slagwerk Den Haag.

With this shared work, Levi and Kyriakides are entering an area where technology and the physical skills of dancers and musicians play upon each other, weaving together movement score, live music and a soundscape of digitally processed voices. In the midst of the technological entanglement between bodies and musical composition that those bodies initiate and perform, a pattern of speech gradually emerges. The dancers and musicians are channeling fields of computer generated voices and layers of sounds through mediation of sensors. Spoken fragments, detached from their physical origin, keep hovering over the embodied landscape. Performers on stage are paradoxically both in control and controlled by them.
Being a messengers of invisible, carriers of cultures both forgotten and not yet existent, as prophets, mediums, daemons and cyborgs, the performers are in a same time speaking to us and for us. They are un-muting the otherness of languages already dead and still unborn. Languages which, like music that is carrying them, are not voicing anything else but an urgent need to be heard.

Rather than demanding from the spectator to focus on a content/meaning of speech, this embodied yet abstract choreography of gestures is expressing pure desire to communicate (in sound and in movement). Spectators’ attention is redirected away from the message and toward a medium: virtual sphere of “speak-ability” inside of which space is created for the mute to articulate its own demand to be heard. In that no-men’s land, that zone between ancient and post-human technologies, opportunity for transformation and emancipation arise.

Igor Dobricic.
Unmute poster