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Getting in the Zone

Art forms can be experienced in entirely new and exciting ways when merged with other art forms. We’ve seen art move from picture frames to walls on the streets, and video sequences timed to music and projected on water tanks. Hip hop dance meets gaming technology in Shaun Parker & Company’s groundbreaking new work, In The Zone, set to play out at Darwin Entertainment Centre this month.

The performance features AirSticks – a fascinating new technology in the form of gaming controls that creates live sound through movement – invented by award-winning Australian drummer and sound designer, Alon Ilsar.

Artistic Director and Choreographer Shaun Parker says he jumped at the opportunity to mix dance with tech when he was approached by Ilsar.

“He came to me and said he wanted to bring it into dance. We caught up for a coffee, and I knew the exact dancer for this project. Libby Montilla. He can do all of the incredible hip hop body animation, which is perfect for when you’re creating sounds,” he says.

“I discovered Libby when he was 16 and in high school – I was auditioning for a show called The Art That We Did about anti-bullying. He had no formal training and taught himself from YouTube. He’s stayed with me ever since and we’ve trained him over the years in contemporary dance and yoga, and physical theatre.

“It’s been an incredible journey because now, when we speak to each other, I’ll say ‘try this’ and he’s always on the same wavelength. He’s a phenomenal artist.”

In the performance, Montilla is described by Parker as a kind of “Pixar” character, similar to the emotion personalities in the film Inside Out. His discovery of the AirSticks helps him realise he’s the one in control – of sound, of light, of himself – and so he learns he is the master of his own destiny.

Montilla had to learn over 1000 choreographed queues to form the dance, and thus, its resulting soundtrack. He says it wasn’t easy, but worth it.

“A very challenging, yet exciting and satisfying process. Using controllers to create sounds and rhythms while being able to remember choreography was a great mental push as a performer and dancer,” he says.

This 60-minute high-energy performance bursting with light, sound and movement has something for everyone – from teens, gamers, hip hop fans and more. Round up the crew and witness this unique and exciting clash of dance with tech – it’s time to get In The Zone.

In the Zone
COST $35 | $25 CONC

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