When The Physical TV Company’s new film Entanglement Theory screened in Italy in May this year, media headlines read “Avatar dancers land in Naples” and articles went on to describe “the first dance movie that sees human dancers in a performance dialogue with their avatar” (DanzaBlog). When Entanglement Theory screened in New York at the famed Dance on Camera Festival in January it was dubbed the “best” animation on the festival by The New York Times, which went on to praise the film’s “new vitality”. Entanglement Theory, recently described by Australia’s RealTime as “a seductive reverie” now lands on Australian TV screens, with broadcast premiere screenings on ABC2 on Sunday October 31 at 8:25pm and ABC1 on Sunday November 7 at 4:25pm.
In the year leading up to its broadcast premiere, Entanglement Theory, a ‘mixed reality’ dance film by Richard James Allen, Karen Pearlman and Gary Hayes, with sound design by Andrew Plain and music by Fiona Hill, has arguably become Australia’s most successful dance film export in 2010, with screenings at over 20 film festivals worldwide from Brazil to Belgium, from Finland to France, from Hungary to Hong Kong, from Germany to Portugal to South Africa.
“Contemporary dance meets the language of multimedia communications. From this innovative experiment was born Entanglement Theory…a succession of scenes in which dancers perform in true symbiosis with colleagues’ avatars, offering a performance that erases the conventional perceptions of time and space (Capri News).
Brief Synopsis: A busy dancing man takes a nap in two realities. His live self dreams and his avatar self dreams. Neither reality is quite so simple when they wake.
Background: Entanglement Theory started life as a research project into dance, screen and mixed realities. It began with the question: what ideas, images or stories does a mix of the online virtual world technology Second Life and real life dancing ask for? Creative research by Karen Pearlman and Richard James Allen of Physical TV and Gary Hayes of MUVEDesign began at Critical Path, New South Wales’ choreographic research and development centre, in January 2009 with a range of processes for the mix of Second Life and real life being tested through improvisation and the development of intermedia choreographic ideas. Fragments of that material were then developed into first public presentation of this “mixed reality” research at Short Sweet + Dance, in the dance and virtual world live and projected dance work Do Avatars Dream of Human Sleep?, which was described in ArtsHub as “a terrific blended world”. From there evolved the screen work, Entanglement Theory, which proposes the hypothesis that: a mash-up of Vedic spiritual philosophical ideas of multiple states of consciousness, different forms of body, and multi-dimensional realities, along with science fiction-like theories of quantum particle entanglement, can be explored with this mix of media. In other words that the two dancing men, each in their own reality, can meet, by crossing over boundaries of conventionally perceived time and space, and populate each other’s performances.
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