Pixel Extraits from Adrien M / Claire B. All images by Raoul Lemercier.

“We like create to trouble, and provide sensation, with a magical effect of sorts. We want people to forget the border between real and virtual, material and imaginary worlds, and we want to surprise the audience.”

Artist duo Adrien M / Claire B do not create typical backdrops for dance performances, but instead transform the physical stage into a living virtual environment with many surprising visual planes. For Pixel—entraits, above, they immerse a troupe of eleven dancers skilled in breakdancing, body-twisting circus movements, and hip-hop, in spectacular digital media, from showers of light to ice rinks.

For Adrien, a computer scientist and a juggler, and Claire, a graphic and stage designer, Pixel—entraits is a continuation of an experiment in combining the poetics of the human body with projection-mapped augmented realities to weave optical illusions and new fictions. Earlier performances included Cinematique, on rediscovering childhood fantasies, and Hakanaï, on the space between the borders of imagination and reality. “Our job is to compose non-figurative stories with abstract, minimalist graphic shapes, using motion as a central writing tool.”

CP: What was the inspiration for the dance? How did the idea grow?

Adrien M / Claire B: We have been working for several years in live dance performance mixed with digital arts, creating shows, performances and installations. We built software that allows us to manipulate graphic shapes as if they were real. This tool is called eMotion, and it’s an app for creating interactions between graphical objects and real word information. It’s an experimental tool, coded in Objective C, with a physics-based animation system. In other words: it is an editor that allows you to define a graphic world composed of objects (like points, lines, images, videos), to specify how they move, with a combination of physics parameters and to organize the way you will interact with them (sound, Kinect, Wii Remote, Leap Motion, etc.), in real time.

The idea to mix our work with hip-hop dance came together when we met dancer and choreographer, Mourad Merzouki. Optical illusion was a principle we shared. We enjoyed offering our ideas and principles to the dancers and researching with them on interaction principles.

read the entire article here: thecreatorsproject.vice.com

©Raoul Lemercier

©Raoul Lemercier

©Raoul Lemercier

Below, check out their early project Cinematique:

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