Jesse Manley has a fresh track for your hungry ears. Photo by Amanda Tipton. There are many reasons to create music, of course. There’s the pedestrian desire for popularity, there is the vaulted idea of artistic creation, but there are also less common reasons. For Jesse Manley, one reason seems to be archeological exploration. On […]
We hope you’re comfortable dancing in public.
Because #dancelab is a unique installation—part of the Denver Art Museum’s summerlong Dance! program—that requires your participation. But you won’t be on your own: The project (which was commissioned by the DAM) was dreamed up by Wonderbound and Legwork Studio, a Denver-based creative studio, and Wonderbound’s dancers will be walking you through the steps. Plus, you won’t totally be in public. You’ll enter a semi-private booth on the DAM’s second floor, where a screen will prompt you to follow the video of a dancer as he or she performs a single movement. There are six kiosks that can be occupied at a time.
Eight Wonderbound dancers pre-recorded movement sequences, which are all rooted in American dance traditions. You’ll be in the booth for about a minute, and artistic director Garrett Ammon notes that it’s all stuff a non-dancer can do.
Individuals’ dances will be collected into a large-format projection, alongside the professional dancers, that will play on the room’s walls, creating a collective dance experience. Except it won’t be exactly what you remember doing: Legwork’s incredible technology splices your video, speeds it up, slows it down, and reorders it for a wholly different visual. These remixed motions will be set to a background score made up of compositions by all Colorado musicians.
Matt FaJohn, a partner at Legwork, says they’ll probably delete the collected video at the end of each day to save memory. Which means you only have a limited amount of time in which to watch yourself dance on the DAM’s walls. For posterity, you can capture the projection on your phone and share it on social media; just be sure to tag it with—you guessed it—#dancelab.
“It has an ephemeral quality to it that it shares with live dance,” Ammon says of the experience. “It’s for the moment.”
You have until July 10, when #dancelab opens, to get some practice in.