Throughout February, March and April of 2022, desilence teamed up with international hip-hop dance company Brodas Bros to create Sokkyo (Japanese for “improvisation”), an immersive evolution of their show, Doji (Japanese for “simultaneous”), initially created together during pandemic isolation in early 2021. The project began purely as experiments exploring real-time techniques with dancers and resulted in a twenty-five-minute dance performance just two and a half weeks later. Adding more over time, the team ended up with a full show spanning sixty minutes.
Because linear animation often traps stage performers in rigid movements without room for improvisation, desilence strived to see if real-time technology could be an effective antidote for the members of Brodas Bros. They began by using motion trackers, freeing themselves from the bonds of rendering.
The creative team had ten days spread over twelve weeks to rehearse on location at Barcelona’s Ideal Centre of Digital Art, a massive space measuring about 22x24x6 metres and featuring twenty-eight laser projectors running a SMODE video server. The desilence team used Notch as the main visual engine and SMODE for timeline programming and audio. Because they had limited access to the SMODE server and venue on a daily basis, they chose to run their materials through Notch Builder directly in order to ensure they’d have a safe way of testing and optimising their scenes.
desilence chose VDMX as their OSC bridge through which they sent all communications, from SMODE timeline cues to non-linear cues from iPads and controllers. The audience, dancers, and even production company themselves were all pleasantly surprised with the unique beauty of the final product.