2012: Art, The City, and The Environment – Oct 3

Paul D. Miller and Waterways collaborate as part of 2012:  Art, The City, and the Environment.

Human Glacier

Human Glacier begins at 7 pm and melts.  Sound by Paul D. Miller continues through the evening.
Saturday, Oct 3rd:  The Drop | Chelsea, W25th St at 10th & 11th Ave, NYC

069 DSC03110Human Glacier is a literal enactment of the melting of a glacier.  This collaboration with Paul D. Miller is an extension of Waterways, a project integrating architecture, ecology and dance, with the participation of Emma Nordanfors, Klara Elenius, and Karina Dichov-Lund of E.K.K.O, Lucy Hg of the League of Imaginary Scientists, Annie Kwon, David Garin and Matt McBane.  A partial list of dancers includes:  Frida Danell, Irene Hsi, Ea Verdoner Jaocbsen, Johanna Moritz, Kristina Skovby, Madeleine Söderberg, Carmela Torchia, and Marie Vestermark.  This performance is supported by iLAND, Inc, The Danish Arts Council, and the Danish Actors Association.

More information about the event is at Yoko Ono’ssite:

Paul D. Miller’s site: 

085 DSC03266

Matt McBane on Human Glacier:

A part of the Waterways project, Human Glacier is a dance piece that I came on board for late in the process. For the preliminary steps in the creative process I will relay what was told to me by the other group members:


The idea for the piece came from work with dancers in the studio by Waterways collaborators Karina, Emma, Klara, Annie and Lucy. The Waterways project had been dealing with the melting of glaciers as one of many subjects throughout its residency, and out of this came the idea of creating a dance piece on this subject. What developed in the studio was a piece in which the dancers clumped together with arms raised to simulate an unmelted glacier and, simulating melting, very slowly collapsed to be completely limp on the floor.

After hearing the Waterways team using dry ice as a percussion instrument in a different event, Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky expressed interest in collaborating with them in a performance piece at an art show he was participating in. His idea was to incorporate the piece into his installation relating to glaciers and to provide the sound including using dry ice. From there they set up the dress rehearsal at the art space.

This is the point of development at which I came on board in the project:

For the dress rehearsal we had a larger number of dancers (including Karina, Emma and Klara) than the choreographers had for the first rehearsals to create a larger and denser “glacier”. The dancers all wore loose-fitting, hooded, white Tyvex suits with grey booties that made the individual dancer more anonymous and the collected group look like a glacier. For this run-through, the dancers entered one-by-one and assumed their position in the glacier. Once everyone was in place, a timer started the count-down of 15 minutes over which the dancers very gradually collapsed to the ground. At the end of this process, they left one-by-one as they had come. The effect of this run-through was stark, minimalist and meditative.

Paul was unable to be at this dress rehearsal, but arrived in time to see video of it and share some of his sonic ideas and explain where his installation would be and work on how to incorporate the dance piece.

For the performance, there was a sense of improvisation and chance as the sounds and dance had been developed separately. The event (the opening for the art show) had more of a cacophonous party atmosphere than I expected and it completely changed the feel of the piece from meditation to spectacle. As MC of the piece, Paul was adept at harnessing the energy of the crowd and focusing it on the piece and making it an exciting event. His sound-design consisted of overtone-based-yet-slightly-clubby drones generated by an application on his iPhone along with chimes and dry ice played accoustically. The chimes were shaken in the air and dragged over the dry ice, which sent them vibrating creating pitched buzzing sounds. Overall, the piece made a very strong impression at the show although in the more party-like atmosphere lost some of the meditative qualities that I found appealing in rehearsal.



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