PRE-FRINGE PROFILE: Analog

 
 

SHOW TITLE: Analog
PRODUCER: Katharine Hawthorne
HAILING FROM: California
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A physically explosive dance performance about the mechanics of human motion.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: I caught hers, actually — she sought out my contact information, but it only took a brief glance at her body of work for me to be glad that she did. Her dances performed in front of projections of technical charts is more than enough to pique the interest of a science geek like me.

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

My name is Katharine, but many people in the Twin Cities know me as Kate.  I grew up in Minnesota and currently live in San Francisco.  As a wee thing I liked to jump and move around a lot, causing my parents to put me in movement classes, at which point I became hooked on dance for life.  I also like to live in my head, thinking about the way things work.  As an undergrad I channeled this energy into studying physics to understand the foundations of the natural world.  My choreography is my attempt to make these two interests (moving and thinking, dance and physics) talk to each other.

So what’s the big idea?

Bodies!  and machines!  Analog looks at how human motion has been mechanized and controlled.  It asks how technology has influenced how we see and use our bodies.  Similar to a tinker/toymaker or an engineer, I break down movement into component pieces and then reassemble it.  The title Analog refers to a way of knowing the body that is a bit out of date or anachronistic, and is not a simplification (in contrast to the way digital mediums compress information).  Most importantly, in Analog I dance with four extraordinary humans, whose performances reveal the body’s athletic power and its limitations.

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

About a year and a half ago I came across some patent drawings that had strange, stylized depictions of bodies and their trajectories in space (see below).  I wanted to see movement contrasted with the weird rigidity of the still images.  I came up with the idea of using an overhead projector with transparency slides to project the images and create the landscape in which the dance unfolds.  We generated the movement material using inspiration from the patent drawings, ideas about continuity and disruption (analog versus digital), and The Way Things Work, one of my favorite childhood books.
 

Movement Sensor Image

Why should I care?

I think this piece will change how you think about your body.  I don’t presume to have deep conclusions about the mechanics of human motion or our relationship to technology, but I do think that if you come spend an hour with us, you might look at your body in a new way.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

moving pieces fit
together to make a whole
stop. begin again
 
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