Metamodern Dance: Tech, Gear and Body Movement Converge


“The Performing Arts have become incredibly diverse and interdisciplinary since the birth of metamodernism.”


By Rochelle Livingston
Performers from Project Bandaloop (top). Photo

Metamodernism brings to the performing arts many new multimedia and technological partnerships. Modern dance and technology have found symmetry. However interpretive dance and multimedia performance art is nothing new. From manuscripted theatrical performances and ballets with pit orchestras, we’ve had multimedia art for centuries. What is ever changing is the technology and the artist is usually among the first to try to create something beautiful with it.

As technology and digital programming become more responsive, we see increased interaction and exploration among software designers, dancers and visual artists. Technology now simulates movement and movement is the essence of dance. Digital imaging and tracking allows the dancer and the programmer to transform body movements into a visual array of animated gestures on the screen.

Two organizations in the performing arts to pay attention to are Codame Art + Tech and Kinetech Arts. Both organizations, from the San Francisco Bay Area, have common missions to enable and promote technology and the arts not only as a model for theory and practice, but also as an integrated business tool for visual communication in commercial applications.

Metamodern Art. Modern Dance:Tech, Gear and Body Movement Converge.
Digital painting rendered through a computer by the movements of a dancer.

Metamodern Art. Metamodern Dance: Tech Gear and Body Movement Converge.

Metamodern Art. Metamodern Dance: Tech Gear and Body Movement Converge.
Kinetech Arts blends dance with technology.

Climbing and rappelling have also been integrated into the metamodern dance genre. Bandaloop from San Francisco are well known for their skyline acrobatics and vertical performances. Project Bandaloop may just be contemporary dance’s super hero equivalent. Bodies fly high in the sky, leaping off tall buildings with sure confidence and powerful precision. Rigged up with equipment similar to those used by climbers and rappelers, these dancers soar and spin where most only dream of going.

Metamodern Art. Modern Dance.
Tribute to Ai Wei Wei

In the opening act of the ODC/Dance moving installation, viewers were greeted by a majestic 12-foot figure –dancer Yayoi Kambara- whose white gown appeared endless and whose languid torso and curving arms glistened in the late afternoon autumn light. The skirt bore the written inscriptions of some of Ai Wei Wei’s statements in different languages.


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