Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company Builds Vibrant Contemporary Dances To Gain A Deeper Understanding Of The Challenges Attributed To Mixed Heritage.


Study #1: Codelining


We begin.

Prior to starting Codelining, the issue of creating phrase work and pairing motion capturing technology didn’t seem like a complex task. The project reads like a promise to bridge the digital divide between Artists and Technologists, while the act of combining dance and tech is filled trial and error. In the trial version, we began by discussing the project. How does the title Codelining a deliberate play on words for coding and redlining adequately describe the gentrification process in San Francisco? As a group, we all take turns with our personal histories with the topic.

The movement is easy enough to create and for the dancers, executed well with proficiency. To approach the addition of technology, we start by using a Myo. The device is gesture controlled armband our technologist (name spelled daevron) has synced with the sound in order to activate the video. We find ourselves immersed in the timing of they Myo’s reaction to our clapping and how those rhythms influence the video. Admittedly, the technologist and I are feeling overwhelmed coordinating a set piece of choreography to an unpredictable device such as a Myo.

What we determine is to explore a goal of placing the technology in service of the dance. To approach Codelining, the mechanization of dance is an action we must open ourselves up to in the spirit of discovery. The uncertainties and imbalance need to find the right actions must be continually welcomed as part of this ongoing process.