This year Iratxe and Igor are choreographing four different and contrasting works: Viagem, Delirio, Under/Exposed and Second Skin.
Viagem, with music by Belgian musician and composer Wim Mertens, is a work that exudes an immense energy. A large part of the day was spent on this piece. Musically it is uplifting, with some sections sounding like a marching band where one can imagine celebratory crowds cheering all around. Bigger groups require time to carefully set formation changes and here, also the dancers need to feel the rhythms from within - as a collective group. “It’s fast, but not too fast … make time for everything, all the details. Don’t lose the qualities we have been working on. These are all the things that make it magical.” With this beautiful care - for their work and the art form - everyone moves forward and up.
In Delirio, Spanish singer Maria Berasarte will be joining the dancers on stage. She sings a famous Basque song about freedom, her voice with a mournful quality. These are longing tunes infused with melancholia. The piece is intimate and consists of duets, solos and small group choreography. Iratxe and Igor have built in dynamic vitality through brilliant musicality. This musicality and dynamism is something they always place great emphasis on. Dance thrives on it. Agility and sharpness...let’s keep working!
Igor has pieced together Under/Exposed, with brilliant imagination. Under/Exposed will use Maria Berasarte’s voice to steer the dance movements on stage. Her voice and words represent the thoughts of someone - a confused and crazy constant stream of comments. There is a quirky feel and creative comic timing throughout. Once again clarity of physical movement is worked on so that the dancers feel more and more comfortable with pathways and timing. Igor works on mapping together the structure, as if each working day weaves together a stronger cloth.
Lastly, Iratxe and Igor have created an eight minute duet which they dance themselves. The music here again by Wim Mertens, with piano and voice. They are teaming up with neuroscientists and mathematicians to explore human behaviour and learning patterns on two projects called Second Skin and Ghost. The data found will be used to create visuals that will be projected onto Iratxe and Igor’s bodies as they dance on stage.
Neuroscientists Romain Ligneul, Gonçalo Guiomar and Alex Azinheira will work on Second Skin. Filmed by special cameras, the dancers’ movements are mapped over a course of 10 rehearsals to gather sufficient data points. When the dancers come into contact with each other, a third image will appear that represent the sensation of touch.
For Ghost, an artificial intelligence program written by mathematician and theorist Mattia Bergoni, produces moving images that have tracked the original choreography and then churns out similar visuals - none exact replicas. Interestingly, this advanced technology can also be used to produce new artworks or music.
This exciting collaboration between the art and scientific world is territory that has before now, been hardly explored. The big challenge would be to create a common language between art and science. Until now, these languages have been running parallel to each other. When they are able to “touch” and “talk” to each other, we could expect fascinating breakthroughs.