Adrienne Hart NEON Dance

Over the summer, Falmouth University ran an open call for three SWCTN Porthmeor Residencies in St Ives in October, November & December of this year for those based in the South West, working in the field of immersion, using tech in some way, at some point.

Adrienne Hart. Photo credit Tonje Thilesen

The final guest of the 2019 SWCTN Porthmeor Residency is Adrienne Hart from Neon Dance who comes to Porthmeor Studios, St Ives on Dec 1st fresh from making work in Japan. Neon Dance premiered ‘Puzzle Creature – Island Encounter’ on Teshima Island in Japan as part of Setouchi Art Triennale between the 28th & 29th September 2019. Commissioned by Art Front Gallery with support from British Council and Arakawa + Gins Tokyo Office.

This December, Adrienne will work on an immersive performance experience that forms part of a wider conversation around technology and humanity; bringing together award winning artists and technologists from the UK and Japan. Here’s what Adrienne is planning for the month:

“I will be spending the month of December in residency at Porthemor Studios researching and developing ideas for new work ‘Prehension Blooms’. I will explore ideas around loneliness, companionship and belonging. I’m interested in our entangled nature to the things we make, and what these ‘artifacts’ say about the age in which we live. The residency will help me explore the complexity of human relationships with material things, and how societies maintain and sustain material worlds, gradually becoming co-dependent in interwoven ways. I envisage mostly spending the residency alone with invited collaborators joining for short periods to help develop my thinking and practically explore a range of technologies in a live performance context.

I’ve danced for as long as I can remember so it’s really embedded into my DNA! I’m naturally curious and therefore this coupled with my passion for how and why the body moves led me to a career as a choreographer and Artistic Director for Neon Dance. Collaboration is at the heart of my practice. Through a rigorous collaborative process, I believe a team can produce collectively what they could not have achieved or imagined alone. This excites me as each new work has the potential to offer a unique outcome and I can never fully know what that outcome will be when I embark on something new!

I discovered the work of artist / architect duo Arakawa and Madeline Gins back in 2016 and this led me to research some of their artworks in Japan and eventually premiere a work inspired by the duo at one of the largest art festivals in the world Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. Arakawa and Madeline Gins purposely deployed procedural tools that confuse, disorientate and question the body’s relationship to its surroundings. Their spaces (which include Reversible Destiny Lofts in Mitaka – In Memory of Helen Keller and The Site of Reversible Destiny – Yoro Park) produce effects that are tentative and highly uncertain, inducing a sense of open ended possibility, which works to resist all compulsions toward habit, routine, acceptance, inevitability, and any other kind of corporeal or conceptual determination. I continue to be influenced by Arakawa and Gins and have had the opportunity to meet artists, academics, mathematicians and AI specialists all connected to their work and legacy.

The body in relation to its environment (both digital and physical) has long influenced my working practice. I took part in several workshops and intensives at Dance Digital (South East) between 2004-09 after graduating from London Contemporary Dance School and at the time wanting to explore motion capture and motion sensor technology. On meeting Mark Coniglio, the creator of the software programme Isadora I went on to spend a summer as an intern for Troika Ranch Dance Company in New York. Whilst being supported as an associate artist at Dance Digital I was also mentored by the American choreographer and media artist Jonah Bokaer.

I’m known for commissioning original music for each new work that I create and those I have commissioned have gone on to become established artists selling out concert halls around the world. Artists, musicians and award winning set designers I have worked with to date include Nils Frahm, Ana Rajcevic and Numen / For Use.