Xavier Le Roy_
Xavier Le Roy is in residence
April 21 & 22, 2010
MIT's Kresge Auditorium
Stay tuned for events at Boston's ICA
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on this project please contact:
Xavier Le Roy
“Anthropomorphic” is a new performance work by French choreographer Xavier Le Roy, commissioned by the Center for Advanced Visual Studies. “Anthropomorphic” uses the language of contemporary dance to move between representations of humans, animals, and machines, suggesting new, hybrid creatures.
While at CAVS, Le Roy will develop and choreograph “Anthropomorphic” in collaboration with MIT scientists and researchers studying biomechanics and artificial intelligence. He laid the groundwork for these collaborations during his time as a Visiting Artist at CAVS in 2007. During that visit, he met with scientists at MIT’s Biomechatronics Lab who are merging biomechanical (muscular) principles with machines in order to improve human locomotion and rehabilitation through prosthetic limbs and other mechanical systems for people with compromised movement. Le Roy, who was trained as a molecular biologist, will also work with the Robotic and Artificial Intelligence labs, “collaborating” with robots designed to mimic human gestures and emotional cues. In this way, Le Roy will be able to explore the workings of machines from sophisticated prosthetics to humanoid robots, incorporating their movements, reactions, personalities, and even the machines themselves into his work. Much of the content of the piece will come from his conversations and interactions with these scientists and their machinic creations.
Le Roy will merge this new knowledge with his previous research and observations of domesticated animals from house cats to apes in zoos. He will create associations, connections and combinations between the live, the mechanical and the imagined. These experiments with crossing the lines of representation will create improbable beings, conveyed through dance. “Anthropomorphic” will be an exploration of hybrids—going beyond even familiar combinations such as the cyborg (human/machine), the satyr (human/animal), and the robot (animal/machine).
During Le Roy’s Fellowship residency at CAVS, he will work with performers to develop studies based on movements and sounds of domesticated animals and robots and other biomechanical objects. Le Roy will explore what happens when performers, animals and machines are brought together, building relationships of action and interaction. Dancers will learn from their non-human counterparts and perform as hybrids between animals and machines.
Also during his residency, Le Roy will hold three workshops for MIT students to create case studies of human, animal, and machine movement that will also influence “Anthropomorphic”. Additionally, CAVS will partner with the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston to present several of Le Roy’s existing dance works to the greater Boston public.
Xavier Le Roy was born in Juvisy sur Orge, France in 1963 and studied biochemistry at the University of Montpellier. He began his dance career in 1988, performing for companies including Véronique Larcher, Compagnie de l’ Alambic, and Detektor (Berlin). In 1993 he founded Le Kwatt, initiating his own collaborations and multi-media projects. He founded his current company, "in situ productions" with Petra Roggel in 1999.
From 2000 and on, Le Roy collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Jerome Bel and Yvonne Rainer and presented his work in various settings, most recently including: the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin (2005), the Wien Modern (2005), Festival d’Gulbenkian Foundation, CAPITALS, Lisbonne (2003), and the Festival d’Avignon (2001). He choreographed and staged three operas by Bernhard Lang: at the Steirscher Herbst festival (Graz, 2003) and the Staatsoper Unter Der Linden (Berlin, 2005), and the Opera de Bastille (Paris). He was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic to choreograph a work (2006). He has been involved in various educational programs and given workshops at: the University of Theater Science in Giessen (Germany), P.A.R.T.S (Brussels), the Fine Arts School of Perpignan (France), the Summer Academy at Mousonturm (Frankfurt), the London Summer School, the In-Presentable festival (Madrid, Spain), La Bâtie (Geneva), la Casa Hoffman (Curitiba, Brazil) and the education program ex.e.r.ce at CCN Montpellier, France (co-director, 2007/08). In 2007 and 2008 he was Associated Artist at the Centre National Chorégraphique de Montpellier. He recently choreographed and performed “Rites of Spring” at Performa 07 in New York City; and another new work at the Montpellier Danse Festival 2008.
In 2008, Le Roy was invited to the Center for Advanced Visual Studies as a Visiting Artist where he presented two seminal early pieces, including “Product of Circumstances” (1999), an autobiographical work of unexpected words and gestures about his transformation from biochemist to dancer. Subsequently, he was awarded a Fellowship Residency at CAVS.