Blurred Lines at Dazzling Freneticore Performance

New show by the innovative Houston dance company explores our relationship with technology.

By Alese Pickering April 2, 2014

Image: Les Campbell

Freneticore Presents Wired
April 3–5 at 8.
April 3 Pay-What-You-Can; April 4 & 5 $16 presale, $20 at door, & $25 reserved seating. April 5 performance includes complimentary beverage, light bites and closing night festivities.
Frenetic Theater
5102 Navigation Blvd

Technology is everything. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep (and even then for those who use sleep-monitoring apps), we interact with the digital world. It has become so integrated into our lives most of us can’t imagine how we ever functioned without it. 

Local dance company Freneticore is known for its innovative choreography, which often incorporates multimedia special effects. Their latest production, Wired, explores how humans interact with technology. The show’s soundtrack sounds like a hip thirty-something’s Spotify stream, with songs by Sleigh Bells, Animal Collective, and Daft Punk. Live video manipulation, digital imagery, color, and lighting effects interact with the organic movement of living, breathing human bodies. Artificial intelligence meets human intelligence. 

The show’s most successful piece examines the paradox of internet communication. A woman dances alone, trapped in a transparent bubble. We watch her move about the space freely, never able to escape the plastic barrier, yet seemingly peaceful in her confined space. Her movements are graceful, but can she really be content in to live in a bubble? The piece evokes the way social media provides a simulacrum of human connection while actually isolating us from the world.

Another piece is less philosophical and more whimsical. The dance begins in complete darkness. Suddenly, bright blue lights shine out from atop several dancers’ heads, reminiscent of those ubiquitous LEDs that become visible on charging stations, entertainment systems, and coffeemakers when we turn off the lights to go to bed. The music picks up and even more Tron-like lights appear on the dancers’ bodies. Because the dancers are covered in black from head to toe, all we see are the lights moving in time with the music.

In the final piece the dancers appear to be completely naked in nude bodysuits. They mimic each other, crawl up and down a moving platform, and move together in slow motion. Alone, they look vulnerable and completely dependent on each other. Working together they become a living, breathing system, which leaves us with a question: is technology more alive than we are?

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