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Author: Rebecca Jacobson
Source: Willamette Week
Date: September 9, 2014

BodyCartography Project’s Super Nature

At many shows, there’s a firm line between audience and performers. That’s not the case in BodyCartography Project’s Super Nature, an installation piece that aims to erase such lines and “choreograph empathy” between dancers and audience. The piece, created by BodyCartography co-founders Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad, takes place in a spare, dimly lit room, in which one audience member and one dancer interact for about 15 minutes. The dancers don’t work with set choreography, and instead move based on how the other person is responding. One video of the performance shows an audience member standing with his arms crossed stiffly as the dancer jumps and twirls around him. In another, a woman shies away from a dancer as she falls to the floor, before joining in with her own hesitant spins and sways, to which the dancer then adjusts. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of opportunity for awkwardness—can’t I just hide out in a corner? How would the dancer react to a halfhearted disco move? What if I breathe too loud?—but for the folks at Minneapolis’ BodyCartography, that’s sort of the point. Without a narrative, Super Nature is all about the intimacy of emotion. And cheapskates, take note: This one is free.