Sections

Dancing with droids: Robots perform at BAM

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

These robots want to boogie.

Humans and acrobatic androids share the stage in a colorful dance performance landing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this week. But “Robot” is more than a kinetic spectacle of music, metal, and fancy footwork. The performance is also a philosophical rumination on how smart machines have invaded aspects of the human world, said the show’s creator.

“It came out of the idea that the world is changing a lot because technology and machines are becoming part of our lives more and more,” said Spanish director and choreographer Blanca Li.

Li conveys our complicated relationship with technology without saying a word, instead creating a surreal costume- and prop-driven adventure. Each robot has a unique name and personality, and they range from toddler-sized cuddly creatures to towering metallic monsters. During the course of the show, the seven robots learn to walk and dance, and they interact with eight human performers in a variety of way, including dancing, making fun of each other, and falling in love.

“I wanted to be able to show the robots’ presence and emotion,” said Li. “I wanted them to really be able to interact with the people on stage at an emotional level.”

Li traveled the world to connect with robot makers and discover machines that fit with her vision. She picked a handful that looked cool and were sophisticated enough to dance along with the music on stage. It took months to coordinate the movements of the robots into a well-oiled choreographed piece, she said.

“It was really difficult to put it all together,” said Li. “It almost did not happen.”

She finally found the robots in France, and Japanese collaborators created the elaborate 10-piece mechanical orchestra of aluminum and resin that provides music for the performance. The band is as much an art installation as an orchestra, she says.

The performance comes to Brooklyn after two years touring Spain, France, Belgium, Portugal, and Italy.

“Robot” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House [30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org]. June 9, 11, 12 at 8 pm, June 13 at 2 pm and 8 pm, June 14 at 1 pm and 5 pm. $25–$75.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!