Bodies and sensors merge in a musicdance performance about the loss of language
3 dancers and 2 percussionists
wearing sensors on their bodies
bring into being a landscape of voices and sounds
in a performance about the loss of language
Spoken fragments, detached from their physical origin, keep hovering over the scenes in UNMUTE. The performers are paradoxically both in control and controlled by them. As prophets, mediums, daemons and cyborgs, they are speaking to us and for us, expressing an urgency to communicate.
UNMUTE is musicdance performance, a hybrid outcome of an encounter between composer Yannis Kyriakides and choreographer Keren Levi. During the performance dance, live percussion and digital soundscape are interwoven by the performers, 3 dancers and 2 musicians of percussion ensemble Slagwerk Den Haag. They all wear sensors on their bodies, their physical skills and new technology play upon each other. With this project Kyriakides and Levi tread on barely explored ground where technology and human physicality lead to new perspectives.
In UNMUTE is not about the content or the meaning of speech. Central to the piece is the space created for the muted to articulate their demand to be heard. In that no man’s land between ancient and post-human technologies, opportunity for transformation and emancipation arise. UNMUTE is a fascinating performance that is both topical and poetic.
UNMUTE is an interdisciplinary project that has evolved in complete co-creation with all participants together in the same space at the same time. In constant dialogue with the dancers, musicians and technicians Kyriakides and Levi have worked on the composition and choreography, that are merged into one inseparable whole. The entwinement of musical and cheographical score is reinforced by the use of myo sensors on the bodies of the performers. These sensor enable them to manipulate the sound at any time through their muscle tension and movements. For this end software was developed especially for UNMUTE by audiovisual artist Darien Brito. Because not all movements are scripted, every performance new moments and situations arise that require an reaction of the performers. By using spoken fragments, from archives of recently disappeared languages and computer generated voices of languages that do not exist yet, UNMUTE gives new meaning to the philosophical idea of “speak-ability”, a virtual space where every voice can speak and is heard.
concept and musical composition Yannis Kyriakides concept and choreography Keren Levi dance, music and choreography Eva Susova, Charlie Laban Trier, Matthew Day percussion, dance and musical composition Fedor Teunisse Marianna Soroka (Pepe Garcia in the development stage) dramaturgical advice Igor Dobričić sensor server and software development Darien Brito sensor system and sound technique Michele Abolaffio light design and technique Martin Kaffarnik styling Ginta Tinte graphic design Miritte Ben Yitzchak photography Eti Steinberg, Assi Weitz
UNMUTE is a co-production of Keren Levi | NeverLike and Slagwerk Den Haag and is funded by Performing Arts Fund NL, Norma Fund, Creative Industries Fund NL and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.
Keren Levi (Israel/1972) is a choreographer who lives in Amsterdam. Her company, NeverLike, has received a structural subsidy from the city of Amsterdam for the first time, for the period 2017-20. With elements such as dance, (live) music and video, her work is best described as interdisciplinary, core based on choreographic principles. Each work gets a unique, specific form that (on the surface) almost never resembles the other performances; Never-like.