Digital artist and lecturer Nic Sandiland of Middlesex University’s Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts has been awarded a grant of almost £100,000 by the Arts Council for a collaborative dance and technology project. The grant will help to fund a new multi-media collaboration including dance events, taking place in the south-east over the next 18 months.
The project, Yael Flexer Nic Sandiland Dance and Digital Works, will include a new live dance work and digital installations, as well as events for professionals and the public. Performances will take place at several prestigious UK arts venues, including London’s South Bank Centre as part of the annual Dance Umbrella event, Oxford Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Oxford Dance Festival. There are also plans to take performances to Tel Aviv.
Gravity Shift, a life-sized video installation, depicts a series of solo dances where the direction of gravity has been altered. Movements are shifted in strange and unexpected ways using technology normally used in flight simulators. A moving, tilting dance floor replaces the familiar fixed dance floor. The Lansdown Centre supported the research which led to this installation, which will be shown in a range of arts centres and small galleries.
The project also includes two digital installations, Everything looks beautiful in slow motion and Bypasser. These will be presented in four different national locations, including shopping centres. The installations will use images of passers-by, playing them back in slow motion to give different perspectives on movement. Another element of the project is choreographed event The Living Room which will be staged in small studios and theatre spaces. In this piece, six dancers will move in and out of a small performance space, either on their own or in duet and group formations.
Nic Sandiland commented: “The project has two core elements: firstly highlighting everyday movement of the public as a form of choreography in its own right, and secondly using new technology as a way of extending the range of movement of the human body in dance”.
Stephen Boyd Davis, Head of Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts at Middlesex University, said: “I’m delighted that this project has attracted such a high level of Arts Council funding. The project will demonstrate the many different ways that digital technologies can help performers and artists to expand on traditional disciplines and develop their practice. We are particularly pleased that the Lansdown Centre has been able to support project installation Gravity Shift, which demonstrates the Centre’s expertise in the application of new and emerging technologies within the field of dance”.
Performances and events will take place in 2010 and 2011, at arts venues and public spaces in London and the south-east.