Portal (2014)

Portal is a net dance created by Yael Kanarek in collaboration with dancefilmmaker Evan Siebens with music by Yoav Gal. Flash programming Meeyoung Kim. The work was commissioned by Turbulence.org in 2001 and was featured in a New York Times article in 2004.

Full Description

"We enter the dance via screens within screens, small pixels within large pixels, rendered pixels. This is a net.dance, the spatial and theatrical dimensions of which are very much about surface. We activate the dance square by square. The dance proceeds at the user's pace as we nudge the traveler along. Rather than being transported by the dance, we navigate the dancer's travels for her but there's only so much control we have in this predestined journey, which is hers alone. The traveler is alien to the Manhattan street. While the music's overall impact is hard and discordant—reflecting the city environment—she exists, perhaps, only in our minds as no one appears to notice her, and traffic does not stop for her. She's submerged in a world of make believe, playfully whipping pistols from her imaginary holsters. Each scene within the larger picture is a dance that culminates in a repetitive gesture, machine-like, robotic. We help the traveler negotiate the fence, and launch her into the in-between with a drag and a click.

There, the traveler is contained and vulnerable but flatness has given way to virtuality. Despite her confinement, we're comforted by her ability to breathe. The music is vocal as if here, though still alone, she no longer feels entirely alien. Still she's caged and unaware of our presence. Her nakedness suggests rebirth: where will she begin? We manipulate her this way and that: as the camera zooms in on her, she becomes progressively fragmented. As she's breaking apart, she suddenly confronts us. The traveler looks right at us and touches our hand—it is this sensory moment that catapults her into the next world.

The traveler is released into a vast desert where, again, she is alone. Once again the vocal music underlines her aloneness, its multiple voices the same voice. She trudges through the heavy sand, going nowhere. Her mirrored image is reminiscent of the corps de ballet: undifferentiated, regimented, and conformed. She becomes an army of reflections that cannot provide solace. She repeats her solitary dance. Her movements ripple through dunes and sky." - Jo-Ann Green, Turbulence.org

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Artist Statement

Here's an interview with Jo-Ann Green about the piece: http://turbulence.org/interviews/portal.html

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