Pontus Lidberg is a Swedish choreographer, dancer and videomaker, who over the years has lent his art to important international companies in Europe and America. Founder of Pontus Lidberg Dance, since 2018, he has taken over the artistic reins of the Danish Dance Theater. His first big, ambitious production for the Copenhagen company is Centaur, the title that inaugurates the 40th Oriente Occidente Dance Festival.
A tireless experimenter, an attentive observer of the transformations in society and a tech enthusiast, he has always reflected on technology in relation to human beings. In his compositions he juggles between realism and abstraction.
After Siren, hosted two years ago at the Festival, it is once again Greek mythology that inspires him: Centaur, namely the mythical creature, half man, half horse, in the third millennium for the choreographer, becomes a new creature, half man, half machine. Flanked by the expert artist of Artificial Intelligence, Cecilie Waagner-Falkenstrøm and the Japanese electronic composer Ryoji Ikeda, Lidberg explores for the first time the live use of Artificial Intelligence as a "partner" of his dancers, investing it with the creation of a total work of art. Its participation will influence the dramaturgical structure, the choreography and the selection of the music.
David, this is the name of the Artificial Intelligence programmed for the performance, was provided with information on existing Greek tragedies, on Schubert’s musical compositions, on planetary movements, on flocks of birds, in addition to the data collected during the dancers' nine-months practice. The data will form the instructions that David (who is not a robot, as one might think, but a voice like Kubrick's HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey) will be able to choose from and dispense during the performance in the form of speech or text, projected on the screen. Its "thought", therefore, will become material for the dancers. "But will its participation," wonders Lidberg, "simulate consciousness, emotion and intention?" Not yet, but the performance shows that this technology is already able to manipulate and seduce us. The horse has become the man and the man has become the computer. Here is the new centaur.
Choreography and Direction Pontus Lidberg
Artificial Intelligence installation Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm
Audio/Video Ryoji Ikeda
Computer Programming for Visuals Tomonaga Tokuyama
Computer Programming for AI ARTificial Mind & Technical University of Denmark - DTU Compute Department (Cecilie WF, Asbjørn O, Asbjørn KN, Thomas MJ and Teeratorn K)
Light Design Raphael Frisenvænge Solholm
Writing/Dramaturgy Adrian Guo Silver
Costumes Rachel Quarmby-Spadaccini
Development The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University
Production Danish Dance Theatre co-produced with Oriente Occidente Dance Festival, Theatre National de Chaillot and The Royal Danish Theatre
Thank you for the generous support of Augustinusfonden, Overretssagfører L. Zeuthens Mindelegat, William Demant Fonden, Knud Højgaards Fond, Beckett-Fonden, Jyllands-Postens Fond
David, the artificial intelligence, partner of the dancers on stage, speaks and writes in English.
Attention! The show features stroboscopic lighting effects.