Emotive Land by The Click Offers an Augmented-Reality Dance Experience
The newly formed arts collective The Click launches its first project – an immersive, augmented reality (“AR”) contemporary dance experience called Emotive Land – on Oct. 1 at 1 pm in Cambridge’s Kendall Square Canal District. Emotive Land engages dance, music, film and technology in an AR experience that investigates a growing need for harmony among art, culture, innovation and nature while animating the natural and built environments of the tech-focused neighborhood. A one-hour free live performance, at which live dancers will move and engage with digital content at sites along the water, celebrates the app launch. (Launch event rain date is Oct. 2 at 1 pm)
Emotive Land is accessed through an app that allows audience members to view virtual dance performances on smartphone screens at specific sites. The app will be accessible from The Click website as well as Apple App Store, Google Play Store and other app locations on Oct. 1. The project was conceived and co-created by The Click founding members Kristin Wagner and Lonnie Stanton with app development by James Peerless.
Stanton choreographed the performances in the app and for the live launch event. Her native Hawaiian heritage informs the curatorial lens for the project, which centers on nature’s resilience and encourages viewers to consider a relationship to the land rooted in stewardship versus hierarchical ownership. Stanton says the creative team considered how physical constraints of public spaces shape both human expression and growth, and worked to create an experience that helps viewers understand the “dynamic dance” that persists between themselves and their environment.
Through technology designed by software engineer Peerless, Emotive Land transforms public spaces into places to discover, access and enjoy contemporary dance. Peerless says AR technology has gained popularity among developers and in commercial uses, evidenced by the wildly popular “Pokemon Go” game that swept the globe in 2016 and its use by retailers to help customers to envision how furniture or products might look in their homes.
“The overlap of AR technology and the arts is pretty small right now, but it’s growing,” Peerless says. Viewers who download the app and open it near the Kendall Square Canal District will encounter visual prompts that lead them to spots where virtual dancers appear on their screens, seeming to interact with actual locations. “It’s a way to bring the feeling of being at a live performance in an on-demand way,” Peerless says.
With no set show time and no cost, Emotive Land encourages more access to dance experiences. “We want people to see the power of community when engaging with this work,” Wagner says. “The pandemic made us realize we can coexist and thrive with technology; that’s why we [Click artists] chose a technological venture as our first project. Our work is heightened by the creative freedom that technology offers – audience members are free to come and go at any time.”
The app for Emotive Land will be available October 1 through November 30.
Artists for “Emotive Land” include dancer Angelina Benitez, dancer/choreographer/ filmmaker Olivia Blaisdell, dancer/choreographer/filmmaker Lindsay Caddle LaPointe, dancer Rachel Linsky, dancer Alexandria Nunweiler, app developer and tech consultant James Peerless, dancer/choreographer Lonnie Stanton, composer/sound designer Nate Tucker, and dancer Kristin Wagner.
Developed in 2021, The Click is a collaborative dance company and creative collective in Greater Boston. Its members are dancers whose primary medium of physical expression is through contemporary dance, but who experiment in many modes and genres of creativity. As a collective, The Click’s members are deeply invested in answering the universally complex question: Who are we and what are we doing here?
The Click contributes to the consistent presence of creativity in the region in several ways: by educating pre-professional youth dancers, professional adult dancers and the dance-curious of any age; performing original creations at traditional and non-traditional venues in Massachusetts, across New England and beyond; and by investing in the curiosity of those new to dance (in Boston or in general) by maintaining an open, inclusive and accessible community.
Learn more about The Click at www.theclickboston.com.