It sounds cruel to say, but traditional dancers are little more than highly trained marionettes. Even after countless hours of training, of bending their body to sheer will, it’s ultimately the directors, choreographers, and musicians who dictate their movements and shape the vision of the performance.
But Audfit, developed by Marta Romaszkan, Krystian Klimowski, and Patryk Lichota, balances the powers behind performance. It’s a musical exoskeleton–an instrument built into a costume–that by tracking nine points of a dancer’s body, produces music in harmony with movement. Interestingly enough, the stage is silent, and the audience listens in through headphones, with the option of selecting the electronic instrumentation they hear.
Audfit is part of a larger trend we’ve been following in which the lines of movement and musicianship are blurring into something we can only really call performance. We’ve seen it with a glittering stage controlled by a microphone, a beat boxer who gestures music, a pair of sound-sculpting gloves, and a costume that allows dancers to pluck the strings of the Brooklyn bridge.
In a decade or two, will we still say that we’re going to a “concert” or a “dance recital,” or will we give up these terms for something different: creativity without the pesky labels?