Alea (iacta est): Dance of Presence


Session Title:

  • Bodies and Presence

Presentation Title:

  • Alea (iacta est): Dance of Presence



  • (Short paper)

    Keywords: presence, dance, phenomenology, choreography, awareness, Simona Bertozzi, performance methods, motion capture, interactive media arts, Alea (iacta est), Homo Ludens

    In this paper, I present an overview of the notion of presence in dance works. I give an analysis of the dance piece Alea (iacta est) – the die has been cast created by the Italian choreographer Simona Bertozzi, then follow with a comparison of dance productions that utilize motion capture. In my analysis I define, or perhaps redefine, the concept of presence in performance within technology and human interaction, specifically Mo-Cap. The definition of presence that I propose is related to the notions of intention, attention and memory of the performers, as well as their relationship with space. The phenomenon of presence can be defined as an expansion of the body, rather than an overlapping of it; hence, my argument is that presence requires a physical body as a starting point. To be present means to maintain a certain degree of tension between the dancer’s body, his or her intention and the performance space. The research is driven by several theoretical and methodological approaches, such as: phenomenology of Maurice MerleauPonty, historical explorations, and my own experience as a dancer.

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