I agree that the idea of interfacing is something that is a already at the root of our classic notions of choreographic process. Choreographers explore the interaction of elements in the studio, and then how these elements interact with the living, perceiving, feeling assemblage of audience members.
What I got from Johannes' provocative comment, which he tempered later in his talk, was that technologies that create responsive environments on the stage require an update of this classic notion of choreography. I think for many, the term choreography paints a picture of a person or creative team who develop a set path upon which performers can travel to obtain a specific visual/theatrical aesthetic effect. If a computer is capturing your movement as a dancer, interpreting it, and projecting its interpretation on a screen for you to interact with, your environment is no longer fixed. If this is the case, the role of the choreographer sitting in the wings becomes, in some ways, obsolete as the the performer creates the work in the present by intelligently interacting with this technology-mediated, intelligent environment.
Many post-modern dance makers have been pushing in the direction of training to interact responsively to a set of unknowns in the performance environment for quite some time. I think Butoh is a great example of this. My next question is always "how and when does the observer learn the inherent logic of the 'system' through the work they are watching?" For instance, with Butoh, how much of the performer's thought processes does the audience read from the work and how much do they need to know in order for them to have a meaningful experience?
- Karl Cronin