Tangente opens winter season with interactive installation & performance art

Beep Test and www.grindruberairbnb.exposed are two ambitious upcoming productions by Montreal dance presenter Tangente.

Specializing in contemporary dance since 1980, Tangente champions emerging choreographers and gives them a platform to present their works. With two intimate and transformable theatre spaces in ÉDIFICE WILDER – Espace danse, they ensure that the avant-garde and the alternative scene have a foothold in downtown Montreal. Each show they present is a unique experience that opens onto the experimental and the interdisciplinary.

This is certainly the case with Beep Test, produced and performed by theatre artist Michael Martini and visual artist Callan Ponsford, who put their bodies to the test to explore both athletic and artistic competitiveness. The beep test is a fitness test often used in high schools. The goal? To continuously run between two lines 20 metres apart before the beep sounds. As the test goes on, the intervals between beeps become increasingly shorter. It is generally impossible to beat the test. Turning to notation as a common ground between their disciplines, they creatively interpret a series of abstract sports plays. Amid blaring disco, they aim for physical exhaustion in this humiliating and flamboyant performance.

“By creating a work in which we read and respond to images, we give ourselves permission to poke fun at an especially adolescent competitiveness to read and understand artworks as correctly as possible, no matter how abstract the image,” write the artists.

Beep Test c/o Tangente, Feb. 4–7

This performance art piece will be followed by media artist Jonathan Chomko’s www.grindruberairbnb.exposed, a website that guides five participants as they follow instructions on their phones. The work only becomes a performance when volunteers lend their bodies to it. By expanding the scope of the interface beyond the screen, this interactive installation explores the increasing agency of digital systems in physical and relational space. The title of the project merges the names of three services that take advantage of technology to channel flows of bodies, vehicles and goods. By recasting these networks onto a stage, this work brings to light their material influence while offering us a glimpse of their potential for collective action. Witnessing it is one thing; experiencing it is another.

“Developing the work shifts between building technical systems and exploring the choreographic language the system makes possible,” says Chomko. “Through movement, I aim to build a sense of collective consciousness, bringing participants in and out of sync, as a way to explore the question of why we do not feel a greater sense of collective possibility despite our networked reality.” ■

Tangente opens winter season with interactive installation & performance art

Beep Test and www.grindruberairbnb.exposed by Tangente will be performed at Édifice Wilder, Espace danse (1435 Bleury) from Feb. 4–7, $15–$30. For more, please visit the Tangente website.

This article was produced in partnership with Tangente.

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