The Creative Living for Dancers Award was created to encourage and empower dancers to share their art online while being paid for it in real-time through web-monetization technology. This year, Creative Living for Dancers distributed four 1000€ awards to support Michigan and Belgium-based dancers as they created digital dance projects while experimenting with this innovative technology.
Creative Living for Dancers founder Briana Stuart interviewed awardees Nadine Baboy and Kelsey Paschich about the vision behind their projects and their experience as Creative Living for Dancers awardees. To watch the full interview on Instagram, click here.
“When I first heard about the Creative Living for Dancers Award, I was surprised and amazed to know that a dancer from Michigan is creating an award here in Belgium,” said Nadine. “I was so proud.” Nadine is a Belgium-based dancer and choreographer whose friends always encouraged her to shift her dancing talents to the digital world, though she would scoff at the idea.
When she encountered the Creative Living for Dancers Award, she was inspired to take the risk. “For me it was like a reminder saying ‘go for it,’” she said. Her digital dance project, Un-spoken words of Heartist, blended poetry, acting, dance, and narrative interpretation into an engaging and invigorating storytelling performance about self-love and authenticity.
“[The CLD Award] really resonated with the context since we cannot perform live. We are mostly home and using digital technology to get in touch with each other,” said Nadine. This requirement to communicate through digital technology was the premise of MIchigan-based dancer and choreographer Kelsey Paschich’s digital dance project, Found in Translation.
The dynamic project melded the energetic choreography of nine dancers with animation and motion capture to create a mirrored experience of human movement and digital replication. The performance has a nostalgic, yet futuristic feel, and uniquely displays the slight differences between human and computer generated movements, as well as their eerie similarities.
“The concept of the whole thing was actually inspired by the pandemic and actually what we’re experiencing right now is literally what this work is about – the change in how we communicate with each other,” said Kelsey, who heard about the Creative Living for Dancers Award through a colleague who recommended it to her. As it turns out, the award was well-aligned with her interests – specifically Project Whitewall, an experimental project Kelsey created that explores the moving body and its relationship to technology.
“Our communication is changing. We have glitches. We have frozen screens. We have dropping out,” said Kelsey, chuckling as her cell service dropped in and out during the virtual interview.
Communication isn’t the only thing changing. The dance and arts industry is also shifting to the digital realm, which is why Briana urges all dancers to explore web-monetization technology as they share their work online.
To apply for the Creative Living for Dancers 2020 award, applicants had to be a resident of Belgium or the state of Michigan. The next round will open up to other cities as well. Applicants can be individuals, groups, companies, or non-profit organizations, and they must be able to create a 5-minute dance work within a 2-month period. To learn more about the Creative Living for Dancers Award, click here.
Visit our website to view the Creative Living for Dancers Awardees’ projects today!
—– Article written by Victoria Jones ——-