Preserving dance for history and sharing it beyond the limits of a theatrical experience has been a stubborn challenge for dance lovers. When the dance publication Dance Ink first appeared on the scene in 1989, it broke ground by bringing the dance experience to the page by presenting photographic performances of world-class dancers by world-class photographers.
Now 23 years later, and renamed 2wice Arts Foundation, Patsy Tarr, 2wice’s founder and editor in chief, and Abbott Miller, its art director, still driven by their restless imaginations, broke important ground once again with “Fifth Wall.” “Fifth Wall,” an app for the iPad, peels the dance off the page, lifting it onto a new digital stage that gives it a three-dimensionality not afforded even by photographs.
What is first seen is choreographer/dancer Jonah Bokaer performing inside a specially created box scaled to the dimensions of the iPad screen. Created by Bokaer for the iPad, the four dances can be reframed in multiple ways by its viewer, giving the illusion of multiple dances taking place simultaneously, or one dance with multiple points of view. By offering the user the ability to shift the sequence of events and add, eliminate, expand and layer images through their fingertips, “Fifth Wall” invites the viewer to participate in the making of a dance.
The dances were shot with a special camera able to rotate 90 degrees vertically and horizontally, while the box, set on roller wheels, can swivel 360 degrees. That flexibility, along with Bokaer’s carefully crafted choreography, enables the app’s magical, gravity-defying hijinks.
The music for “Fifth Wall,” an original score, was co-composed by Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, and Jason Treuting of So Percussion. The video director was Ben Louis Nicholas. “Fifth Wall” is available for the iPad for $0.99 and can be purchased by visiting the app store through this link: http://bit.ly/NxlICg.
“Fifth Wall” is the second app created by 2wice. Its first, released in July 2011, is comprised of selected photographs of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company that had appeared in four special Cunningham-dedicated issues of 2wice over the past decade. The app was designed to be its own Cunningham Event. Its photographs morph, image into image, like a dance. The viewer is able to determine the speed of the changing images. Available free of charge on the web, the app also includes videos of Bokaer and Holley Farmer, both Cunningham alums, dancing short selections of Cunningham’s work. To download the Merce Cunningham Event app for the iPad go to http://bit.ly/KKEiut. For more information about 2wice Arts Foundation, please visit http://www.2wice.org.