ilya vidrin – connection research

My current research project compares how people move together within different disciplines of dance, including Latin/Ballroom, contact improvisation, classical ballet, and contemporary styles. Through short-term, creative residencies with professional dance companies, including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Chicago Hubbard Street, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, and The Cambrians, as well as interviews with practitioners including Nancy Stark Smith (contact improvisation) and Vibeke Toft (Dancesport), I’ve been constructing a model of the different modes of partnering to highlight and better understand the practice of physical, visual, and energetic connection. So far, I have been focusing specifically on how biomechanics (such as sequencing, rolling point of contact, and lead/follow) are in tension with aesthetic values (shape/form). I am interested in understanding how this tension impacts core principles in coordinated movement between two or more people.

– Ilya Vidrin

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.50.00 AMCertain Bird Residency (Vermont, USA) — source material for Empress Archer (featuring Ariel Freedman and Meredith Webster)


dance data – hetty blades

I am just about to finish a three month residency at the Digital Catapult Centre, during which I have been looking at the circulation of dance ‘data’, in relation to questions of ownership, copyright and value. I worked with a small group of artists and companies to consider the practices, potentials and barriers of sharing and reusing dance online, and explored how the technologies and strategies for protecting creative content being developed at the Digital Catapult might support the dance community. The project has raised a wealth of practical and philosophical questions, which I am currently working my way through for two papers; one about the ownership of movement data, and another about copyright, community and the digital economy. Here is a link to the project blog:

– Hetty Blades


The choreography of our lives now happens in front of screens and in relationship to screens. I would like to propose a series of investigations that take this interstitial space – between human and screen – as a site for choreographic thinking and discovery. I am not interested in a critique of the human relationship to technology, but rather to draw attention to the rhythms, timings, and spaces of the ways in which we interface with screens. Indeed, this word – interface or “between faces” – speaks to the heart of this (proposed) research. What is the choreographic nature of this between?

Central to these various processes, possibilities and questions is the desire to contribute to how our understanding of the body – our bodies – is changing with the hyper-presence of mediated experiences. I would like to explore how these ideas can be distilled and communicated: as films, as conversations with artists/filmmakers/choreographers, and as workshops and presentations about independence, the body, and choreographing our lives on – and in front of – screens.

— Simon Ellis