Tap dancer Danny Nielsen leads a workshop at Harbour Dance Studios on Oct. 15. He will be a part of the upcoming dance production Telemetry at the Port Theatre on Nov. 3. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

High-tech dance production ‘Telemetry’ heading to Port Theatre

Dancers use sensors to control lighting and audio with their movements

Nanaimo’s Crimson Coast Dance Society is beginning its 20th year with a presentation of Telemetry, by Vancouver choreographer Shay Kuebler and his Radical System Art dance troupe.

In Telemetry, which comes to the Port Theatre on Nov. 3, dancers interact with contact-sensitive microphones and infrared light to influence stage lighting and audio. Kuebler said it’s a challenging production, adding, “The show is, in a lot of ways, different every time because it’s responding to what we do.”

“The performance space is almost like an instrument,” he said, later adding, “The piece itself, I believe, just has a lot of diversity and versatility in the sense of how you can perceive it and the ideas that are within it.”

He described the show as having a “really diverse performance language” as it combines urban, swing, jazz and contemporary dance and features Calgarian tap dancer Danny Nielsen.

Nielsen was at Nanaimo’s Harbour Dance Studios on Oct. 15 to lead a pair of dance workshops in between tour stops. In all, 36 beginner, intermediate and advanced dance students from Harbour Dance Studio, Kirkwood Academy and Tempo Dance Academy dance schools attended Nielsen’s morning and afternoon classes. He said he hoped to share some knowledge and inspire the students to continue training and see dance as a possible career opportunity.

In Telemetry, Nielsen’s shoes and dancing surface will be rigged with microphones, allowing him to control lighting with every step.

Kuebler said the show has changed since its February premier and subsequent spring tour. Now on its second leg, the choreographer and performer said the rhythm, structure and conceptual ideas have improved and the technological elements have become stronger.

While there is no direct narrative, Kuebler said the performance touches on themes like, “memory and history and connection to the human experience.”

“The human body is a very strong instrument,” he said.

“It carries all this memory, history, this information that we don’t see and even though it’s not seen, it has a lot of tangible power on the way we are and who we are.”

WHAT’S ON…Radical System Art’s Telemetry comes to the Port Theatre on Nov. 3 at 7:30 pm. For ticket information visit www.porttheatre.com.


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