There’s a lot of ‘digital’ going on in the arts at the moment – in productions, in communications, straddling the two, augmenting our live work and standing in and of itself. I read an article earlier about an iPad app which has been created as an entirely different type of performance space for dance. Rather than trying to replicate or augment the experience of a traditionally placed audience, this work is created just for the iPad and is interactive in its nature.

Called Dot Dot Dot, it is created by 2wice Arts Foundation and features dancer and choreographer Tom Gold. The app allows you to tap areas of the screen and ‘create’ your own version of the piece, which is made of pre-recorded segments of dance. The introductory video gives more of an insight: 

Dot Dot Dot from 2wice Arts Foundation on Vimeo.

It turns out this isn’t the first iPad app 2wice Arts Foundation has created. Their previous effort, Fifth Wall, also uses the iPad as a new creative space for dance. This time a piece was filmed in a particular environment – a large rectangular frame – and the user can change the orientation of the frame, add multiple versions and resize each of them. The dance being performed doesn’t change, but the user’s experience of the piece is exactly as they determine it. You could watch it hundreds of times and each time get a totally different perspective on the work.

Here’s the video for that one:

Fifth Wall from 2wice Arts Foundation on Vimeo.

In other arts app news, I also read today (on ClassicFM’s website) about the launch of an app showcasing Benjamin Britten’s orchestral work The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. For those unfamiliar, the work, written in 1946, showcases the different sections of the orchestra in ‘variations’ on a theme by Henry Purcell and is therefore a really important way for music learners to start to understand the complex workings of the symphony orchestra. 

The app announced today is part of the Britten 100 centenary celebrations of the composer, and is available free. It uses a new recording of the piece, alongside games, quizzes and an interactive musical score to enhance learning and demonstrate the potential and complexities of the symphony orchestra to young people. 

There are probably loads of examples of apps and other digital projects creating entirely new ways to experience and create different types of art. I particularly like that the examples above are not only pushing the boundaries of performing arts but also of the tablet as a device and an experience. I think the proliferation of tablet devices is going to turn out to be one of the most dramatic changes in the way people consume and interact with the content and the world, so it’s definitely interesting to see how the performing arts fit into this. 

I plan on downloading and having a play with all the apps mentioned above so I’ll be sure to review them as soon as I can!