2016 — 2017

Created by Lisbon/Berlin-based interdisciplinary performance collective StratoFyzika, Phi is an interactive, audiovisual dance performance based on looping patterns and their incremental alteration of perception. Centered around a highly physical and intricate duet, Phi melds movement, orbital light and sonic atmospheres into an immersive, striking performance that challenges the viewer's notion of body, space, and sound.

Daria Kaufman and Hen Ni Hen / Choreography and movement Alessandra AiKia Werkstatt / Light design  
Akkamiau Kočičí / Quadraphonic sound

Using motion sensors and Isadora software, Alessandra Leone (Lighting Designer) and Thomas Van Ta (Creative Coder) have programmed two light projectors in correspondence with the dancers' movements, highlighting different angles and trajectories that distort and deconstruct the body. In one section, as the dancers travel down a narrow, diagonal beam of light and continually flip from their stomachs to their backs, the light flips with them – with each rotation, two opposing beamers switch on and off, causing the dancers' shadows and illuminated areas to continually shift. The effect is kinetic and paradoxical, as if simultaneously experiencing two different perspectives of the same moment.

Two dancers - Hen Lovely Bird and Daria Kaufman – created and perform the choreography. In their process, they focused on composing clear, sharp, isolated movements with a distinct rhythm or timing, and then juxtaposing these phrases into a kind of clock, where each of performer acts individually, constantly shifting in and out of unison. This compositional structure, known as phasing, is woven throughout the piece's movement, lighting, and sound design, and it creates the effect of constant oscillation between synchrony and dissonance, harmony and chaos.

The choreography also explores ways in which small, isolated movements can recontextualize the body. For instance, at one point, the performers sit with their legs spread wide on the floor and just slightly bend and straighten their knees while the torso, in darkness, slants forward and remains totally still. With each tiny bend of the knee, a low positioned floor light peaks through, giving the impression that the legs are moving creatures independent from their torsoes, or perhaps talking limbs in conversation with the light.

Audio composer Lenka Kočišová has designed a sound pool using four speakers/channels positioned in different corners of the audience. As viewers sit, they experience the sound travelling through space, creating overlapping atmospheres of electronic rhythms and tones. In this sense, the architecture of the room becomes a felt, sonic experience.

All of these elements combine to make Phi a striking, thought-provoking, visceral performance which challenges and re-defines the viewer's perception of body, space, and sound.

Φ is currently a work in progress, that has been until now developed over the following residencies:

Cultivamos Cultura in São Luis (PT) - May 2016
dance/tech residency, sponsored by Troika Tronix, at Lake Studios Berlin - July 2016

Φ was performed on 28th and 29th July 2016 at UferStudios Berlin and during Atalaia Artes Performativas Festival in Aljustrel 

Pics and compositing Alessandra Leone

↑Pics by Dario-Jacopo Laganà
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