Emovere: Body, sound and movement

What is an emotion?: A state of the soul? A state of mind? A physical sensation?

The project Emovere takes “emotion” as a central axis in order to generate an interdisciplinary performance that uses body processes to build a scenic poetics based on a reflection about the biology of emotion, intertwining the various corporal, subjective, dance, sound, visual and technological materials and procedures that emerged inside an interdisciplinary creation laboratory.

In the origin of the word “emotion” lies movement, change, transition; emovere, which means to displace, to mobilize, to remove the body from its state, is a performance piece that invites the audience to reflect on the nature and subjectivity of human emotion. Through emotions, the body takes action: the heart pounds, palpitates, flutters, stops and drops; palms sweat; muscles tense and relax; blood foils; faces blush, flush, frown and smile. Emotions are all this and much more: they are a revelation of life in the core of our entire organism; they are the expression of a struggle for balance; they are the evidence of exquisite adjustments and corrections in order to keep our organism whole.

The piece resides in the intersection between the exploration of the corporal patterns of different emotions and the capture of the electrical signals produced by the nervous system through physiological sensors. The bodily variations of the performers influenced by emotions and movements feed an interactive design that generates and modifies the audiovisual universe of the piece. The body of the performers is presented as a flux of information, vibrations, signals, gestures and tensions affected by the amplification of its internal processes which, at the same time, activates and modifies an environment in constant movement, displaced and unpredictable.

The performance uses the measurement of biosignals such as heart rate and the muscle tension of the dancers to modulate soundscapes. The biosignals are sampled by physiological sensors that measure the small electrical changes produced by the nervous system of the performers, in order to transmit them wirelessly to a computer where these are processed and mapped to different reactive audiovisual algorithms.

The creative process involved 18 months of work investigating how to generate an artistic outcome from the intersection of various subjective, dance-based, sound-based, visual and technologic materials and procedures, that were emerging within an interdisciplinary creation lab, including the development of a theoretical framework and an Alba Emoting seminar (an emotional induction method). This process culminated in a performance and several academic outreach activities and workshops. Emovere was sponsored by Vicerrectoría de Investigación y Creación, Iniciativa Bicentenario Juan Gómez Millas and Fondart Nacional 2015. Emovere was premiered and presented several times at Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral in October, 2015. Additionally, it was presented at Sala Escénica de la Universidad de Playa Ancha, Valparaíso.

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