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"A new body would rise, phoenix-like, from the flames of the digital and the ashes of the real".
Robert Nirre

Dance-Media Performance for Six Dancers

Artistic Direction and Choreography 
Pablo Ventura

Arlette Kunz
Sonia Rocha
Yong-In Lee
Peter McCoy
Barbra Noh 
Markus Heckel

Music Composition
Jan Peter E.R. Sonntag 
Urbano Mistica Amplitude: 
Michael Renkel / Gato Leiras

Pablo Ventura

Antje Brückner

Pablo Ventura
Tobias Peier
Noa Bacchetta

Barbara Mens

Tobias Peier

Premiere: ewz-Unterwek Selnau, Zurich, Switzerland. 31st October 2002
©Pablo Ventura 2002

First dance-media performance for 6 Dancers of the dance trilogy "De Humani Corporis Fabrica"

"De Humani Corporis Fabrica" receives its title from the famous anatomy book ‘On the Structure of the Human Body’ of Andreas Vesalius De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem, which is one of the great historical documents of the Renaissance and the first great book of modern science. Vesalius visualised for the first time the true structure of the human body and revolutionised the science of anatomy.
Vesalius anatomical teatrise is the starting point to reflect on our humanness (in De Humani), our body (Corporis/Cluster II) and on our technology dependent society (in Fabrica/ Cluster III).
The trilogy tries to give form through dance and multimedia to a metaphoric journey of the body. A process spanning from the humane to man’s increasing interdependence with technology, till eventually being substituted by a robotic machine.

In this journey the quality of the movements interpreted by dancers undergo a subtle development throughout the three works. In "De Humani" the movements are supple, soft and fluid. These become more distorted and at times even grotesque with "Corporis/Cluster II", to finally achieve a mechanical and automated machined quality with "Fabrica/Cluster III".
The climax to this development is achieved with the trilogy's epilogue in which a Robot, a machine, takes over the stage as the only actor in a dance piece.

The videos created for De Humani are based on images of our body (veins, blood cells). The sound environment was created using recordings of our internal body sounds (breath, heartbeats, etc.).
The electronic music score throughout the trilogy also integrates, amongst other sounds, audio samples of astronaut dialogues in outer space and relevant recordings of Martin Luther King's excerpts of some of his speeches ("We are born into slavery").

In the centre of "De Humani Corporis Fabrica" lies the human with its body and its psyche. From the 3D dance animations, sounds and picture cosmos initially developed in the computer, a mysterious and disturbing scenario spreads out later onto the stage, in which strange events and mutations shift the dancer again and again into new conditions, actions and behaviours.

„Whereas the latest works of Ventura Dance Company had an atmosphere of science fiction, ‚De Humani‘ relates to the present. A clinical present – the dancers, dressed in white, act on a white stage. The whole scene is a field of projections. Images projected on canvases and on the floor show only vague colours in the beginning, get more concrete time after time, and more technical. Swimming babies, sperms, and rows of letters floods the stage later, and a geometrical grid is thrown over the dancing bodies. The human beings seem to be captured in an experiment, in a matrix. However, the bodies remain richly orchestrated by the computer created movements. The body‘s-parts and every dancer acts autonomously and at the same time well coordinated with the others. Effectively and consequently the choreography uses the contradiction between rest and dynamics, between order and supposed chaos..“ (Christina Thurner, Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

„The opening-highlights of the international CYNETart-festival were dance- and music-performances from Switzerland. ‚De Humani‘, Pablo Ventura‘s computer-generated choreography, began – with references to the mad rush of the computer age – with unstable blinking blue diodes on the chest of the dancers. The little blue plastic boxes on the silver shirts could be time bombs, a dance-explosion could surprise the spectators. Instead of that it needs several minutes until the first dancer leaves her glaring spot; you can see a projection of her movement on the floor like a fast shadow. Artificial thunder then carries unrest in the one-hour performance..“ (Christian Spahr, Sächsische Zeitung)