Home     About     Photos     Video     Credits     Performances     Contact     Press Release

  REVOLVE is an interactive performance inspired by sleep science (chronobiology). This collaborative project led by Carol Brown and Anne Niemetz, aims to create a unique performance system combining dance, light, costume design, and media art. Driven by a curiosity about the body, its rhythms and potential for change, REVOLVE brings audiences an intimate, multi-sensory encounter that expands definitions of contemporary performance.

The REVOLVE performance system involves wearable electronic sensor technology and an interactive sound environment. Sensing the body, its gestures and its environment through the measurement of light, rotation and acceleration, the “sensor suit” allows the solo dancer to intuitively control and interact with a malleable sound environment. The performer can respond to this environment by choosing to expose or hide light-sensitive parts of her body clothed in the sensor garment, combining these actions with movements of varied speed. In turn, the sonic feedback influences the emerging choreographic score, inducing constraints and generative cyclic patterns for movement. This feedback loop between movement, sonic state and light creates waves of sensation heightening the experience of the space as a perceptible field of embodied technology.

The dramaturgy of the performance is driven by concepts around the physiological cycles that underlie sleeping and waking. The first state is inspired by the circadian biological clock that keeps the sleep/wake cycle coordinated with the rotation of the earth (the day/night cycle). This is followed by a retreat into the sleeping brain, and an exploration of the distinct rhythms of electrical activity that characterise different states of sleep. Finally the performance explores the rhythms of breeching into waking consciousness as the brain re-engages with the external world through purposeful and directed movement.

The sound design is based on the auditory beat, a phenomenon that arises when two pure tones of different, but neighbouring frequencies are played together. In such a situation, a beat frequency emerges, perceived as a periodic pulsing of the sound. These beats – waves of sound - are powerful to listen to, physically moving, subsonic but clearly perceivable.

The audience is drawn into this work through its multi-sensory character: sound is as important as sight, and the fluidity of the interplay between physical gesture, light and acoustic feedback in space develops into an immersive, visceral experience. The dancer, working with an improvised score, becomes attuned to the audience state and is able to steer and guide the experience, heightening, changing or shifting the nature of the performance through interaction with the rhythms and oscillations of the auditory beats.


REVOLVE builds on the project Standing Waves, an inter-disciplinary research process initiated by Anne Niemetz, Carol Brown and Philippa Gander. Standing Waves was part of the arts/science incubation laboratory ‘Waking’, held at the Print Factory, Wellington in late January 2010.