Touch – An Interactive Dance Performance


Touch is an interactive dance performance exploring the physical contact happening between two dancers during the course of contact improvisation. Using wearable sensors, selected audience members will be invited to collaborate with the dancers. Artist Mengxi Rao, has designed special computer based technology, which will transform the participants’ shifting weight, pressure and movements into an immersive light, projection and sound experience. Issues of race, culture, gender and age will play a role in this multi-sensory performance with the radical implications of the act of touching. Rao has worked closely with Sarah Drury, Sam Cusumano, Tim Bienosek and The Hackatory on developing this project, and is invited to participate in the Prague Dance Hackathon in fall.

Philadelphia based experimental musician Keith Hampson is collaborating on Touch. Using modular synthesizer, Keith is going to create an interactive soundscape corresponding to the touch data from the audience. Keith writes and performs under multiple monikers, one being Power Animal, which is centered around song writing and sample based production often sampling obscure sources, field recordings and one of a kind recordings found on cassette tapes in thrift stores. Keith has toured the US and Canada extensively, had his music featured in many independent films, and has been a guest speaker at Temple University on the subject of modular synthesis.

Mengxi Rao (“Althea”), MFA candidate at Temple University, Philadelphia, is a Chinese media artist and filmmaker who has keen interest in new media technology and sound art. She has worked and lived in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. She makes experimental narrative films and engages a playful writing style in a lot of her work. Her short film White Mushroom, Black Earth, an experimental doc-fiction centered around the landscape installation by Walter de Maria The New York Earth Room, has been screened in the US, Germany and Spain.

April 27, 2016
6:00pm – 7:30pm
Fleisher Sanctuary, 719 Catharine Street, Philadelphia
Free Admission