Counterpart (2019 DOWNIE + KAISER)

Counterpart takes in any body moving — dancing — within its gaze. It then performs a series of transformations of the body that extend and look back to those created in an earlier collaboration (with Shelley Eshkar) for Merce Cunningham’s masterwork Biped (1999).

Here though a new motion capture system was deployed using prototype laser cameras. The neural network AI underlying this system is typically developed for mass surveillance, but we’ve put it to a different purpose by sensitizing it to the singular bodies it perceives.

The work was commissioned by Ballet Rambert, and a live nightly installation at Sadlers Wells from November 7-9 2019. The installation responded in real-time to the exquisite dancing of Edit Domoszlai, who performed two solos excerpted from Merce Cunningham’s Pond Way and Changing Steps. The steps for both solos were set on Edit by former Cunningham dancer Jeannie Steele — herself a star soloist in Biped. The music was taken from OpenEndedGroup’s score for Loops.