Klaus Obermaier is a media artist, director, composer, and lecturer. Working in dance, music, theatre, new media and creating interactive installations, video art, web projects, computer music, radio plays, and large scale outdoor performances, his work has innovated, inspired, and has been well received by critics and spectators.
On Tuesday(26.6.07), Klaus with conductor Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a 21st century rendition of Igor Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring'(Le Sacre du Printemps) at the Southbank Centre, London. Dancer Julia Mach will perform within the virtual spaces created by Obermaier and interactive designers from the Ars Electronica Futurelab. Wearing 3D glasses, the audience will see Julia within the virtual world and her body itself will expand beyond reality.
I am extremely grateful to Klaus for sparing some time in the run up to this performance to answer my questions.
You have found ways to fuse and extend performers bodies. First, how do the performers themselves approach these fusions and how much control do they maintain in their performance? Second, is it important to you that the result looks natural(organic) and/or is an aesthetic of artifice an important part of the interpretation?
Both questions depend on each particular piece, as there is a big difference in the approach of for instance VIVISECTOR, APPARITION or Le Sacre du Printemps.
In Le Sacre du Printemps, I was doing the choreography and therefore was able to create my own kind of balance between real body (natural) and virtual. I was going for an aesthetic, where the human can interact with the realtime generated digital environment in a very natural way. The dance should work by its own, but also seamless fuse and interact with the digital environment. There is plenty of space for improvisation, but also the more strictly choreographed parts don't restrict the dancer regarding her performance, not more than in any conventional piece - Julia Mach keeps control.