Our stellar Marketing Intern Will dropped in on our in-residence dance company ZviDance to see what they have been working on. Watch two videos of the ZviDance rehearsal Will watched on our YouTube page.
This past Sunday I popped into a rehearsal of Zvi Gotheiner’s dance company, ZviDance, who are here at MASS MoCA as part of a residency to perfect their ambitious and exploratory performance, Zoom. The second I peeped my head into the rehearsal room I was struck by the humidity of the space. The windows were all fogged up and the smell of sweat and exercise brought me to the realization that some serious work was being done. I arrived just as Zvi was finishing up a routine and sending his dancers off to take a break. I sat down with Zvi to hear what he had to say about Zoom and his residency here.
Now, I am only a lowly Art History major, I don’t really know my way around the dancing world,Â however my conversation with Zvi was really interesting. He told me Zoom is a collaborative project between himself and his dancers, composer Scott Killian, video designer Tal Yarden, and lighting designer Mark London, all whose main goal is to change the way people experience dance. Rather than the traditional model of Sit-Watch-and-be-Silent, they want the viewers to Sit-Watch-and -whip-out-your-cell-phones to text the company while they dance! Zvi explained that they have created a software where the viewers can send text messages and picture messages with their cell phones directly to the performers and designers and those images and messages will be displayed in real time with a series of other visual elements, with the effect that the choreography and music will be altered based on this interactive communication. OK, to a dance dunce like myself that sounds freaking sweet.
After our conversation I let Zvi get back to his dancers and I stayed to watch them rehearse a little bit. I began to really get into their rehearsal and wishing I could see it all put together with the music, lighting, and interactive video display. It became apparent to me that for the most part the performance is going to be a set piece and within which there will be cues, generated by the audience, that provoke the dancers to change and dance a different way.
It baffles me to think about the amount of hard work and mental and physical energy these dancers are going through during this residency. Zvi told me that this week is the only time he is able to get all of his dancers in one spot at one time to be able to work on the piece. Back home in New York City everyone has their own busy schedule of work, performances, etc. that it is almost impossible to get it all worked out at once. It is a true blessing for the project to have this residency so that they are able to have the time, facilities, and support that it needs to truly get all the kinks worked out, all the final decisions to be made, and then ultimately an actual performance put together to see how it all works out. I can’t wait for that moment this Saturday in the Hunter Center when I, along with the rest of the audience, will be encouraged to use my cell phone and be able to make my own fingerprint on the performance.