The Space is Dancing
Klaus Obermaier is regarded as the uncrowned king of the interactive digital cross-linking of dance: by using complex programming technique he projected in "D.A.V.E." the digital image of a dancer live on the dancer‘s body itself – and made dance history. Long since is the Viennese citizen a cosmopolitan of the international dance scene. Among other things, he teaches at the National Academy of Dance in Rome, Italy, where the piece "the concept of ... (here and now)“ was developed – another highlight of this year‘s UnterwegsTheater festival "Dance International“.
What if a choreography not only relates to the audience, but also creates (with the help of cameras and interactive programs) space and sound by itself? Barbara Autiero and Sara De Santis from Rome showed at the Hebelhalle in Heidelberg, how this can be done – and immersed the audience into a fantastic virtual world.
For example a stylised tutu turned the ladies into ballerinas – virtually multiplied by the projection technique like a whole army of ballet dolls, which even when artfully swirled still showed the strict drill of classical dance. Other episodes were about the wonders of the body: Hundreds of staggered hands, arms, legs shaped into fantastic patterns on the canvas, sometimes as designed by a pen, sometimes shaken as in a kaleidoscope. Digital technology transformed the dancers in weightless beings of bright lines or flashes of silhouettes.
At the end of the digital fireworks, which also included the electronic soundtrack, emerged the unique continuous beep of the monitors in a hospital, indicating the end of the heartbeat. After all it is still the living beings, who set the tone also in Obermaier's fascinating world of linked-up theater.
Isabelle von Neumann-Cosel – May 10, 2012
Vibrant Real-time Work of Art
With the worth seeing performance "the concept of ... (here and now)" by Austrian media artist Klaus Obermaier began on Saturday the "lichtsicht" festival in Bad Rothenfelde.
Electronic sounds echo through the salty air on the new graduation works. Two dancers appear on stage in the spotlight, and perform an expressive series of static figures and dynamic movement sequences to the music.
At the same time their bodies are recorded by cameras on stage, their images are modulated in a PC and the result is projected on a giant screen that is attached to the graduation works. Here the bodies mutate to dematerialized graphic structures or condense to abstract landscapes of moving verticals in red and white.
The music changes. After the floating sounds by José M. Sánchez-Verdú bizarre rhythm comes into the game in an original composition by Obermaier himself. The dancers, dressed in black and white now, transform on the canvas into planar and streaky textures, corporeal, sensuous. A vibrant real-time work of art created for the fascination of the moment.
The eyes of the viewer switch between stage and screen, between reality and artistic conversion. The perspective of the camera creates a new vision, thanks to the alienation by the PC.
Obermaier and the dancers of the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome invite to a finale with music by Alessandro Scarlatti. Through a software programmed by the Austrian now not only the images but also the baroque sounds get chopped up, scratched, re-composed to a new aesthetic.
Humorously an oversized foot tickles a woman lying on the ground, in the agony of laughter. Here it becomes clear that the dancers are responsible for a difficult task, in certain sequences of the performance both to act and as well to keep the canvas in mind to produce "correct" images.
Finally, Obermaier reproduces the dancers to the original music of Scarlatti, choreographs them extensively covering the giant screen, until hordes of tutus explode like a grand display of fireworks.
Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung, Germany
Tom Bullmann – Oktober 3, 2011
Dance in the Digital System
On modern theater stages the artistic production possibilities seem nearly limitless. In times of highly complex computer technology the performers have discovered the digital for their art.
The Austrian Klaus Obermaier is exemplary for the use of electronics in performing arts.
This impressive performance was a very virtuous combination of dance, video projection and computer software. The intrinsically dynamic effect of the dance performance is potentiated by the digital distortion of reality. Music, lighting, dance merged into a charming presentation, which stood against conventional modes of perception.
The audience was very pleased with the performance. Enthusiastically expressed even by an older viewer who described herself as "conservative" in terms of new media and thanked for the sensual experience.
Indeed: The computer technology, usually perceived as lifeless, stiff and robotic, became a mediator of sensual experience in Klaus Obermaier's work. The gap between technology and nature was dissolved on this evening.
re>flex magazin, Germany
Julia Heiserholt – May 18, 2011