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Drones and Dancers Meet and Make Magic
Saturday, March 16, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Find out what happens when machines and humans come together in a spectacular new performance medium where flying drones interact with dancers live on stage. Parsons Dance will be at PS21 for a week-long research residency fine-tuning the technical side of this exciting new work. The residency will culminate in a public showing and discussion.
“I wanted to explore the evolution of man and machine and I thought what better way than with flying robotics?” says Artistic Director David Parsons. “It’s always interesting to get artists and scientists to work together and to be reminded that we’re all creators”
The New York City-based dance company has partnered with French technology artist Ben Kuperberg on this ongoing project that presents myriad technical challenges, especially since drone technology isn’t geared for indoor theater spaces with varying sizes and shapes and on a tight rehearsal schedule.
“The piece has always explored the relationships between humans and machines, but we have learned a lot about the technical capabilities and requirements necessary to execute a work of this complexity at the scale we need,” says Parsons Technical Supervisor Mike Megliola. “Generally, we have no more than a few hours to assess a new venue onsite, load in our company gear, and rehearse a full evening program, so there is very little room for error.”
During the public showing on March 16th Kuperberg and Megliola will discuss the highs and lows of this extraordinary journey from sketchpad to real quad-copter robots flying onstage. They’ll be sharing a “highlights” reel of all the drone flights made during their week-long research residency at PS21, culminating in brand-new progress from their time spent in the gorgeous black-box theater.
“When you’re doing something that’s never been done before you have to have patience and you have to keep faith,” says Parsons. “I have always loved technology. I’ve been fascinated with the advent of the digital world happening so quickly around us.”
Advance Tickets for Parsons Dance Residency: Talk & Demonstration on Saturday, March 16, at 3 pm are $10 for Adults and $5 for students. Tickets at the door: $15 Adults and $5 students. Tickets can be purchased at PS21chatham.org, or at the door. For more information about this event or any other, please visit ps21chatham.org or call (518) 392-6121.