Last Saturday night, I went to see ‘Pixel’ by Mourad Merzouki’s Käfig, a hip hop show, created in collaboration with the digital design company Adrien M / Claire B.
As soon as the curtain went up, my attention was grabbed by the simple yet beautiful set; the stage was dotted with candle-like lights, which moved around as the dancers performed.
A couple of minutes in, the digital effects began; I had never experienced a proper jaw-dropping moment until then. I felt so amazed, and excited about this new approach to performance and dance; I just marveled at the scene.
The lighting and effects were projected onto a huge, vertical, transparent screen towards the back of the stage. The dancers placed behind it were slightly darkened, and appeared at times like silhouettes, moving behind a shadow. They were interacting with the light effects; sometimes dots, sometimes lines, sometimes raindrops of light…
There were also projections onto the floor, which moved with the performers, giving an impression of water rippling away from the dancers’ feet or an illusion of three-dimensional hills and valleys that the dancers had to navigate or leap over.
The group dances were so light, the performers almost seemed to be floating. You wouldn’t usually expect hip hop to be this delicate; all the moves were poetic and gorgeous. The solos were lyrical, and the duets exceptional. Surprising accesories, such as roller skates and a giant hoop, gave the performance a different dimension, making the dancers look as though they were gliding across the stage.
All in all, the result of the collaboration between the digital designers, the choreographer and the dancers was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. This performance was a magical and mind-blowing experience. The dancers – and the pixels – were breath-taking.
You can watch the beautiful trailer video for Pixel here https://vimeo.com/114767889
If you would like to find out more about Käfig, you can go to http://www.ccncreteil.com/en