Creating the set choreography for the final performance was to explore and showcase the choreographic potential of the software. In order to do this I used a variety of methods. For example, using the audio to loosely improvise and then start to set and teach the choreography. I used the text and symbol scores to more methodically pick a movement for each symbol and then teach this movement. Some were more collaborative, where we would both look at the score and create movement together. For some of the movement I gave the dancer a printed score and asked them to create their interpretation of it. This combination of working methods showed me the potential for applying choreographic practices into a research program that could investigate websites and our online lives. In the next stage of the project these and more methods will be explored.
For this project the work was going to be shown at Compiler’s ‘Play Safe’ exhibition, which explored themes of encryption and privacy online. The Cryptobar is a work that explores different types of security software and presents them as ingredients for cocktails. My work gave me the opportunity to connect with the other works in the space; therefore I decided to create the set choreography from the information pages of each of the software described in the Cryptobar. These pieces of software were broken down into solos, duets and group sections. I also wanted to take on some of the characteristics of each of the programs and apply them to the dancers ‘characters’. For example, when dancing the messaging service signal there is a duet, for which the dancers were each given the same score but they were not allowed to see what the other had created until they had had decided on their own movement. The created an interesting collection of movements which contrasted and then simultaneously came together and highlights of unison.
For the software Debian, which is a security, focused operating system, I asked the dancer to perform as a slightly neurotic ‘control freak’ not letting the other dancer interfere.
After creating individual parts with solos and groups we came together for a final rehearsal which brought all the dances together for the first time and allowed me to set the order of the final sequence. This was also the first time they had heard the music. When performed together I realised out of a rather sporadic few weeks I had succeeded in bringing together into a single performance.
There is no narrative, however I wanted there to be enough human elements for the audience to pick out their own stories within the movement. Additionally, although all the dancers are women I did not want to create specifically gendered movement. This is because this work is not about gender, however it could be used differently in another work. With more time, I would like to experiment with both male and female dancers. For example in this context of software which is designed for encryption and privacy online, it could be an interesting performance opportunity to create a work that explores sexual tension and promiscuity, bringing safe-sex practices to mirror online safety. However, for this work I wanted to simply put across a showcase of the software’s potential and capture the aims of the exhibition itself.