Hakanaï is a haiku dance performance taking place in a cube of moving images projected live by a digital performer.
In Japanese, this word Hakanaï is the union of two elements, one alluding to man and one alluding to the dream. It is used to define the ephemeral, the fragile, the transitory, the intangible nature of matter.
This words together with the tulle covered cube, create the starting point for this piece.
The four projectors reveal on the tulle a graphic universe in constant evolution. Performed by an artist as a “digital score”, it is generated and interpreted live. The dancer’s body enters into a dialogue with the moving images in motion. These simple and abstract black and white shapes behave according to physical rules that the senses recognise and to mathematic models created from the observation of nature.
The audience experiences the performance in several stages. They first discover the exterior of the installation. As the dancer arrives, they gather around to watch the performance. When the choreography has ended, the audience can then take some time to wander amongst the moving images.
Through a minimalist transposition, this piece is based on images drawn from the imaginary realm of dreams, their structure and their substance. The box in turns represents: the bedroom where, once the barrier of sleep is passed, walls dissolve and a whole new inner space unfolds; the cage, of which one must relentlessly test the limits; the radical otherness, as a place of combat with an intangible enemy; the space where impossible has become possible, where all the physical points of reference and certitudes have been shaken.
Through the encounter of gesture and image, two worlds intertwine. The synchronicity between the real and the virtual dissolves and the boundary that was keeping them separate disappears, forming a unique space filled with a high oneiric charge.
Our research is mainly based around the following:
1. A thoughtful digital technology at the service of performing arts.
In order to preserve the force of the live presence on stage and then transpose it to the digital medium, all the images are generated, calculated and projected in real time.
2. The idea of digital writing and performance of digital scores.
Through a musical approach to the images and an instrumental approach to the computer program, the experience of the moment is given pride of place.
3. Interactive ways of overcoming the technical challenge.
Using capturing systems from video game technology (for their power in calculation and reactivity) combined to a work of virtual puppetry (for the value of human intuition and its dreaming ability) allow us to offer the audience this sensitive experience.
4. The use of the unconscious experience of movement.
The computing and mathematical models come from the observation of Nature. This private and unconscious experience of movement creates an imaginary world where abstract graphic forms become evocative worlds.
5. The structuration of coincidences.
The gesture interferes with the image in a believable and coherent way. Creating strong bridges between the digital and the real material allows the virtual to become an extension of the real.
Concretely, the implementation of these principles is the result of a close relationship between computers, electronics and software all through the computer program eMotion. eMotion is a tool allowing the experimentation of the relationships between virtual elements and data taken from the real world. It is based on physics models and is at the heart of and at the beginning of all of the company’s projects. Although the project is the result of research into juggling, it goes way beyond its original subject while at the same time inheriting the concrete and sensitive relationship to matter, body and movement.