An intermedia performance inspired by a short story by Italo Calvino, NightDriving connects choreography for the stage with dance for the camera, exploring interactions, in space and in time, between performance and projection.

Video imagery is projected on a large transparent scrim stretching across the front of the stage. On the scrim we see the video, and behind the scrim we see the dancers, live on the multi-leveled stage, sharing the visual environment with the projections. The curtain rises. Suspended over a darkened stage, ghostly apparitions slowly twist and spin. A dancer bursts into view, quickly joined by another dancer. Watching the complex interplay of movement between the dancers, it slowly dawns on you – one of the performers is live, and the other is a projection on a transparent screen covering the stage. As more dancers appear on the stage, more video dancers appear on the screen, images transforming from soft and ethereal to bright and colorful, weaving threads of digital imagery into the intricate tapestry of contemporary dance.

Project images
 Performance
Inspiration

The name NightDriving references The Night Driver, written in 1967 by Italo Calvino. On one level this short story is an evocative narrative about two people and a night journey in which one reaches out to the other. On another level it’s about the complexity of relationships — how we construct non-linear connections (hyperlinks) among various versions of our “real” and “imaginary” selves. And on another level it depicts a virtual world where the messenger becomes the medium and the medium becomes the message We use the Calvino story for inspiration, as a springboard for images and ideas. We are not literally “telling” the story in the dance or video.

Venue

Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine, California.

Credits

Media, projection and stage designer: John Crawford

Choreography: Lisa Naugle

Music: Alan Terricciano

Lighting: Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz

Costumes: Linda Davisson

Dancers: Kelly Bixby, Briana Bowie, Melonie Buchanon, Alison Dietterle-Smith, Colette Harding, Patrizia Herminjard, Alyssa Honeycutt, Donald Laney, Mark Macaranas, Jessica Pierce, Mandarin Wu

Video shoot assistants: Elisha Griego, Jeffy Hill, Pei-Yi Ko, Chrissie Munich, Leah Springman

Rehearsal assistant: Veronica Donohoo

Stage manager: Sara Overgaard

Assistant stage managers: Emily Caster, Jennifer Matthews

Additional production support: Keith Bangs, Ron Cargile, Scott Collins, Toby Weiner

Production date: February 2003