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New Fordist Choreography

Authors: David Pocknee; Jeremiah Runnels

New Fordist Choreography is a technique to allow people untrained in dancing to create a synchronized dance performance.

By breaking down movement into a set of simple commands (step forwards, step backwards, step left, step right, turn left, turn right) and delivering these over headphones, speed and spatial positioning can be controlled and complex choreographies can be realized.

First, a computer program is run, in which start, end and intermediary positions of the performers are set. Second, the program is run, and the speed of each performer and the probability of them performing certain actions is manipulated in real-time, through the use of a MIDI controller. As this is happening, the computer calculates the instructions that need to be given to each performer and writes these into a set of mp3 files, one for each performer.

These mp3 files are then given to the performers, and loaded onto portable devices for playing them.

All performers start their mp3 players simultaneously and move as they are instructed. This relocation of skill to the choreographer running the program means that no performer need have previous dance training nor any knowledge of the holistic nature of the piece.