Dance Fort: A History
Dance Fort: A History is a web-based portal designed to share with a broad audience what it feels like to be inside a dance in the making. Dance works are made of a complex set of ideas, physical practice, happenstance, forgetting, remembering, minor epiphanies and daily discoveries, joined together piece-by- piece in the evolving circumstance of choreographic research over time. For decades, though, the traditional container of an artist’s choreographic legacy has been in the documentation of the finished work: videotapes of performances, printed programs, photographs, rehearsal videos and choreographer’s notebooks. We imagine Dance Fort: A History as a digital play-book, part installation, part digital artifact. It is based on the matrix of materials surrounding the development, production and performance of A History, containing cross-referenced research materials “danced,” written, spoken and shared in other forms. It is not meant to represent the performance but to create an interactive experience with its bones and subtext, mapping your own trace through our process.
In development for over three years, Dance Fort brings together a unique partnership of dance artists, metadata specialists and interactive design experts to explore this technological territory.
Through BMC’s history of highly successful choreographic processes, the wealth of contextual information in the making of these works has been parallel stories not generally shared with audiences. For instance, knowledge gained in undertaking new media and motion capture technology in recent works exists both as data and new perspectives that changed how we understood movement. The understory of these and earlier works includes the rich archive of texts, images and materials that fed the dramaturgy, the happenstance of who was in the studio on a particular day, the hearsay as wll as the profound events of the times. With Dance Fort we are interested in creating an interactive archive that would allow an audience to step inside this experience in tandem with our own re-entry into that creative conversation, A History.
Excerpts of Bebe Miller Company’s community symposium on Dance Fort