Le corps électrique (The body electric) is a three movement experimental performance which combines a presentation of technical and critical research, an interactive and theatrical demonstration of new technology, and an aerial dance trapeze act. The first movement, “Flight, Musical Expression, and Virtuosity: Designing a New Musical Interface for Collaborative Works in Aerial Arts”, begins as a standard research presentation and introduction into the field of designing and programming new musical interfaces. Christiana Rose, played as herself, describes the histories and dialogues surrounding musical interface/instrument design and some general methods of mapping gestures and movement to sound. She then begins to describe the musical interface, named SALTO (derived from gymnastics and aerial silks/fabric/tissue skills) that she has designed for dance trapeze movements and choreography. SALTO links movements of rotation, inversion, and grip strength to electronic sounds. At the end of her presentation, the second movement, “Machine Learning” begins. “Machine Learning” introduces two characters, Kat Geber, a choreographer and trapeze artist played as herself, and Ailo, an artificially intelligent rehearsal assistant, pre-recorded and voiced by Andrés Cuervo. The two begin a rehearsal session where Ailo learns and indexes some new choreography from Kat. However, as they go along they engage in various arguments about choreography, the rehearsal and creative process as well as explain the intricacies of how SALTO works and which sounds correspond to which types of movement. The third movement, “Splinter”, is a dance trapeze act performed and choreographed by Kat using SALTO where her movements create the sounds.
Le corps électrique was devised by Christiana Rose with choreography by Kat Geber, and creative writing by Amanda Siskind and Andrés Cuervo. It premiered in Oberlin, Ohio at Wilder Main on October 28, 2016.