Artist in residency
From February 17th to March 20th 2020

People in the Dunes – II

The experience of being in a space with people triggers thoughts and feelings about self and other, exteriority and interiority, seeing and being seen. This complexity will be expressed in a performance through body movements and sounds that influence and change each other reciprocally. The interactive play provokes specific gestures that inform following movements and, at the same time, creates a complex piece of music.

During the residency, Bettina Hoffmann, visual artist with a focus on video and performance from Montreal and composer Haruka Hirayama from Tokyo, will develop further their collaborative explorations of body movements intersecting with sounds that they started in 2018.

Researching the sound potential of everyday objects, instruments and actions, they will create a musical composition that is performed by dancers/actors with focus on movement expression and interrelation between the actors. Different types of motion sensors (e.g. bend and stretch sensors, light sensors etc.) will be applied to bodies so that movements are used as sound controllers to change e.g. volume, particles of sounds and their frequency of repetition, pitch, reverb and delay time.


Both creators’ research intersects in this new collaborative project: Haruka Hirayama’s major focus is applying elements of non-musical-instruments to music composition to investigate an alternative method for composing. Looking at performing (dance) and controlling gestures (instruments, control boards, digital motion detection) she questions when a gesture becomes performative. How can music, that usually accompanies dancers, be used as an active means created by their movements to reflect back on them?

Bettina Hoffmann’s interest is based on body movements, subtle gestures, distance and proximity, with an interest in ambiguous movements and actions that shift between violence and caring. She is researching movement through experimentation and introduces rules that dictate or limit a participant’s use of body parts, which leads towards unusual, sometimes unsettling movements with contradicting elements. Noises made by the dancers are amplified to stress their physicality (breathing, footsteps) and slightly altered (e.g. reverb) to create a specific spatiality. Her interest is to figure out how those sounds could be used to create a sound scape that resembles music.


Photo : People in the Dunes, Terpsichore Studio Theatre, Tokyo, 2018