With this work we explore the relationship between gestures and memory. Our starting point was the idea put forward by Milan Kundera in his book entitled “Immortality”:

“A gesture cannot be regarded as the expression of an individual, as his creation (because no individual is capable of creating a fully original gesture, belonging to nobody else), nor can it even be regarded as that person's instrument; on the contrary, it is gestures that use us as their instruments, as their bearers and incarnations”

In this passage of the book, Kundera states that we are not owners of our individual gestures, but the other way around, gesture inhabit people. This means we share gestures with other people, other cultures, other times. In this sense, a gesture and its respective impression, sensation, reason is passed through generations and becomes part of how we recognize certain human interactions and emotions. Based on this idea, using 3D data captured using multiple Kinect sensors from Rui Lopes Graça latest piece “Quinze Bailarinos e Tempo Incerto” and video data capture during the Choreographic coding lab, we explore the dichotomy between ballet dance movement and contemporary dance movements.

We use generative art superimposed to the ballet dancer to enhance the structured nature of this dance genre. Time is also a central factor to our work. Three desynchronized versions of the same dancer doing the same sequence are shown simultaneous which gives the impression that we are observing different dancers, as if the same gesture reminded us of different people/individuals. In the background we see a fainted video of two contemporary dancers improvising a set of movements that are yet to become part of our memory of this dance genre. In this manner the overlap between the two images are used to enhance what already is and what will become.


Video example