Ether 2011: Digital artist Klaus Obermaier on revamping The Rite of Spring

Rites

Klaus Obermaier, digital artist behind The Rite of spring in 3D, in conversation with Southbank Centre’s Head of Contemporary Culture, Gillian Moore.

GM: How have you managed to integrate a live dancer, live orchestra and screen?

KO: Stereo cameras and a complex computer system transfer the dancer Julia Mach to a virtual three-dimensional space. Time layers and unusual perspectives overlay one another and multiply themselves, enabling a completely new perception of the body and its sequences of movements. Real-time generated virtual spaces communicate and interact with the dancer. The human body is once more the interface between reality and virtuality. By means of 32 microphones the entire orchestra is integrated in the interactive process. Musical motifs, individual voices and instruments influence the form, movement and complexity of both the 3D projections of the virtual space and those of the dancer. Music is no longer the only starting point, it is the consummation of the choreography.

GM: What do you hope the audience will take away from the performance?

KO: First of all I hope the audience will have a great experience. Stereoscopic projections create an immersive environment, which permits the audience to participate much more closely in the performance than in traditional theatre settings. And of course it will raise some questions about our modern lives and the authenticity of experience in the light of the ongoing virtualisation of our habitats.

Catch Rites: Stravinky’s The Rite of Spring with 3D visuals live at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall as part of Ether 2011 on 23 April. Get tickets here

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