fidget explores the power of presence in our technological age with Sp3, Feb 1-3

FringeArts presents Sp3, the latest work from multimedia dance theater company <fidget>. This meditation on alienation and the technological body premieres February 1-3 at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters, 140 N Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.). Tickets cost between $15 and $29 and are available by phone (215-413-1318) or online at FringeArts.com.

The title, Sp3, is shorthand for “space, pulse, pattern, and presence,” four abstract concepts from which the show grew. Developed over the last two years, this interdisciplinary music and movement work obliquely grapples with the increasingly post-human nature of modern living, where technology is wedged between us and everything, disrupting our interpersonal relationships as well as our relationships to time and our environment. The show seeks to disrupt this interference, positioning the notion of presence as something radical.

In the earliest stage of development co-artistic directors Megan Bridge and Peter Price knew they wanted to begin with a new score and then choreograph movement to it. The resulting 60 minutes of music is the longest continuous score Price has ever composed for <fidget>, one that is heavily inspired by “pulse pattern minimalism”—popularized by esteemed composers like Steve Reich and Terry Riley—as well as the techniques of DJs, and colored by the rich, uncanny sounds of analog synthesizers. Despite a consistent pulse throughout, each section’s layered, multifaceted, sound possesses its own distinct atmosphere.

Bridge’s choreography for the piece, and in turn her movement aesthetic in general, is being transmitted onto the ensemble of six dancers rather than created in collaboration with them, a first for her. “It’s an extremely personal movement aesthetic that I have built over years of improvising to Peter’s music,” Bridge told FringeArts in November, adding, “It is super exciting, and new, and a little strange for me to see that translated onto other bodies.”

Bridge described the show’s movement as “cyborg-feeling” or “post-human”—not starkly robotic but still imbued with something uncanny—invoking philosopher Paul Virillio’s notion of the “point of bionic contact,” when technology and the body begin to come together. Indeed, despite setting out to create an abstracted, non-narrative piece, Bridge admits that the current political and social climate—and the technologies that fuel its proverbial fire—made it impossible to keep human anxieties from trickling in. “We talk a lot about what we call the ‘sharpening of affect’ that we see both in the media and social interactions, and especially at the intersection of the two: social media. We ask ourselves how abstract conceptual properties like space, pulse, pattern, and presence modulate affective relationships and contribute to the ‘sharpening.'”

Sp3 by <fidget>
February 1-3 at 8pm
Director/Composer: Peter Price
Choreographer: Megan Bridge
Performers: Megan Bridge, Marie Brown, Ann-Marie Gover, Megan Wilson Stern, Zornitsa Stoyanova, Kat Sullivan
Tickets: $29 | $20.30 for Members | $15 for students & 25-and-under
Call 215-413-1318 or visit www.fringearts.com to purchase tickets.