Pressure Sequence

Pressure Sequence  is a dance, it’s a performance, it’s a choreography, it’s a composition, it is a sequence of images, a dialogue of movement.

Pressure Sequence started out as a question: Dancing is body language at it’s purest. But can you transform, translate this language? What happens if you strip away the visual layer? Is it possible to create a virtual dance, just out of sound? Does dance survive this transmission? Do we create new images? Is it still dance? Do we move along?

So I asked three contemporary dancers to dance for me, and I recorded the sounds they made using different microphones. Then I went to the studio and started to create my own choreography in a quadraphonic format, using these sounds. I wanted to explore the intimacy of the body in movement. Pressure Sequence is a choreography that is built using both the language of contemporary dance, and the language of sound. The movement of bodies is translated into the movement of air molecules. I’m looking for the resonance of those movements in pressure variations. With this piece, I want to create a new choreography, one that is only tangible in sound, one that needs to be completed by the listener, by his or her imagining the newly created dance piece, feeling the movement.

The piece is a crossing between an installation and a performance. A spectator enters a dark room, alone. One spot of light in the centre of the room, this marks the ideal listening position. The spectator can decide to go to the spot of light or not. The door closes, the light slowly fades out, the room becomes completely dark, the sound starts. The listener can hear dancers creeping around him/her, brushing right next to him/her, jumping over his or her head. Nine minutes and a half later the performance is over, the light goes on again, and the door opens. The spectator leaves the room, and the next one can enter and the performance starts again.

The video below is a testversion of the installation. The sound is a binaural recording of the quadraphonic installation. The video should be listened to with HEADPHONES to experience the full binaural effect.

Dancers for the original sounds were Marisa Cabal, Georgia Vardarou, Veli Lehtovaara and Eleanor Campbell. Recordings were made at the STUK arts centre in Louvain (BE). The piece was edited at Deepblue / Overtoon, Brussels (BE). Further tests were done at Bains Connective, Brussels (BE), Zodiak, Helsinki (FI), Kunstenwerkplaats, Brussels (BE), and WP Zimmer, Antwerp (BE). The video was shot at Kunstenwerkplaats.

I would like to thank Georgia, Marisa, Veli and Eleanor; Pieter-Paul at STUK; Christoph and Ilse at Overtoon / Deepblue; Lilia and Silvano at Bains Connective; Karlien and the crew at Kunstenwerkplaats; Carine, Peter and the crew at WP Zimmer; Pierre Van Heddegem; and a special thanks to Barbara Riera and Dolores Hulan for dancing during the test recordings.

Pressure Sequence is part of an ongoing research that started with  Aerial Movement.