February 2, 2023

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The Bochum Planetarium takes visitors into digital worlds

Bochum.
In the premiere of “Autonomous Avatar”, the dance stage is combined with modern technology. The stage star lends her voice to the performance.

A new “Avatar” movie will soon be released not only in cinemas: this one too Planetarium Bochum He takes unusual paths in his production of “Auto Avatar”. For the first time in its nearly 60-year history Next weekend, the Star Theater will be the stage for a dance show that will take place in the middle of the hall. The trick: The dancers’ movements are transmitted directly into the huge dome using modern technology – like two live avatars.

Premiere at the Bochum Planetarium with a dance piece

The lavish performance was initiated by stage-maker Tobias Stapp, who worked for a number of years He works as a playwright at the Schauspielhaus Was and now works as an independent director. about the Diving FestivalStaab, which had already caused a doubly commotion due to the merger of Bochum’s large cultural institutions, made good contacts with the Planetarium. New ideas and plans were developed, which immediately aroused the great interest of director Susanne Hotmeister.

“Our main idea has always been to do live shows more often in addition to our regular programmes,” she says. Time Machine with actor Mark Waschki He did well in the summer. The Avatar Selfie now wants to transport viewers into digital realms – and also ask current questions about artificial intelligence.






Dancers show choreography in the middle of the Bochum Planetarium

“Nowadays,” Stapp says, “who can tell whether a person or a computer is talking or writing?” “In times of deepfakes, can you still trust pictures?” The evening, which is approximately 80 minutes long, is divided into three parts. The first half hour is for just the two dancers, who go up to a circular flower-covered stage in the middle of the planetarium and show a meticulously rehearsed performance before. “The focus is only on the two bodies without any video,” says Tobias Stapp.


The dancers are professionals: Corey Scott Gilbert danced with Cirque du Soleil in Los Angeles and worked with choreographers like Richard Siegal and Sasha Waltz. As a classically trained ballerina, Dasnia Sommer belonged to the Berlin State Ballet and now devotes herself to contemporary dance. In the play “After Work”also directed by Tobias Stapp, was seen on the stage of the Kammerspiele in 2020 – and wowed visitors with its sophisticated bondage technique.

Sandra Holler lends her voice to the performance

In the second part of “Avatar Self” the audience can dive directly into the digital universe. The immersive worlds were created by designer Luis August Krawen It was developed specifically for the planetarium. as a voice from outside Actress Sandra Holler To hear – or it’s an AI that breathes, talks, and sings in Howler’s voice. Performance often plays with these insecurities.

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In the end it’s crazy: the bodies of the two dancers can be captured via “Motion Capture”. It is broadcast live on the dome. To do this, they wear black suits that digitally record their every move. Rehearsals are in full swing, but as a small introductory show on Tuesday already shows, visitors can look forward to unusual images somewhere between dance, theater and digital art. Stage designer Nadja Sofie Eller transforms a planetarium into a sensory theater space that you can not only see, but also smell.


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