DANCES BY THE PEOPLE
Ladenheim and The Robotics, Automation, and Dance (RAD) Lab at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana are collaborating on an ongoing dance and robotics project titled Babyface.
Babyface responds to feminized tropes around innocence, servitude, cuteness and spectacle. Centering a “cyborg” performer who was designed to be perfect, the work uncovers tension between humans and machines through original sound, choreography, and interaction with a pair of large-scale, robotic, breath-activated angel wings.
Glass is a performance about glass ceilings and what happens to women underneath them. Glass prominently features hoop skirts, white pantsuits, meticulous patterns, power poses, a few too many step touches, and a fight for a seat at the table — all referencing the fight for status, confidence, and attention that women engage in their careers and personal lives.
Competitiveness or cattiness play out, too. The women in Glass confront the highly stereotyped, patriarchal views in their environment, each other, and themselves, walking the fine line between standing in solidarity and perpetuating the very misogyny they stand against.
Oh, Celine! is a multimedia, distributed performance created by Kate Ladenheim and Cecilia Lynn-Jacobs. The story follows an avant-garde dance artist (stage name Celine) as she is hired and fired by a liquor company looking for an “authentic face” for their new campaign. We tell her story through a Tumblr blog, a carefully curated Instagram, film elements from the failed collaboration, and ultimately a live stage performance.
< / cl!ck >
< /cl!ck > is an interactive, multimedia installation that explores how culture, personality, and subconscious bias are revealed by our online behavior: our clicks, likes, follows, views, swipes, and profiles. It’s dance, code, and electronic music inspired by the intricate ways that we curate our online selves, and the content we see as a result. The performance is a weird mix of goofy narcissim, parodied action, and uncomfortable cultural awareness.
An evening-length contemporary ballet created in collaboration with composer Peter Van Zandt Lane, originally commissioned and produced by the Juventas New Music Ensemble. HackPolitik follows the online personas of the main players in Anonymous and Lulzsec and how they play between immature mischief-making and true acts of political activism. The music and choreography is a physical interpretation of the inherently abstract interactions that can only occur over the internet.