Ladies and Gentlemen, please take out your iPads. You don’t have one? Borrow one. Quickly, please. Now, welcome to the screen world of DOT DOT DOT, a dance in the form of an app starring Tom Gold, who appears, multiplies and disappears with the tap of your finger. In other words, Tom, as choreographer and dancer, is at your command.
Can you see Tom appear among the nine giant black dots arranged on the white floor? No? Touch one of the black dots, and Tom jumps out and the dot almost always turns orange. Touch another, and another until you have nine different Toms jumping and turning simultaneously. With the camera perched high above, the effect is pure Busby Berkley. By swiping up, the giant dots turn into tall black columns around which Tom dances. The camera is static. Vertical swipes create different landscapes, while lateral swipes create alternate sequences.
Performing to an original, vibrant violin score by Charles Yang, Tom is engaging, witty, charming, and an extraordinary dancer jumping, turning, spinning, sliding, tapping, appearing, disappearing between, behind and among the columns, playing hide and go seek with you, the viewer. Swipe again, and the camera now pans close up revealing a far distant Tom dancing among the columns. Then swipe again, sit back to enjoy a full, three minute dance that Tom, a former New York City Ballet soloist and now head of his own ballet company, created especially for the iPad. Once again dancing among, upon and between the dots, but now with greater authority and complexity until he waves good-bye and disappears, this time on his own accord.
2wice Arts Foundation released its first app in July, 2011. Comprised of selected photographs of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company that had appeared in four special Cunningham-dedicated print 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 former Cunningham dancers Jonah Bokaer and Holley Farmer dancing short selections of Cunningham’s work. To download the Merce Cunningham Event App for the iPad and for an overview of its contents, go to www.2wice.org
Advances in technology made possible the greater sophistication of “Fifth Wall,” 2wice’s second app, which was released last June. With choreographer/dancer Jonah Bokaer performing inside a specially created box scaled to the dimensions of the iPad screen, the dance could 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. Viewers can shift the sequence of events, eliminate or add images. Another jump in technology allowed “DOT DOT DOT” to incorporate scenic changes and the multiplication of the same image in different spaces. “Fifth Wall” and “DOT DOT DOT” are both available through the App Store for the iPad for $.99.