Duda Paiva Company lab
puppeteering research program
Animating the Space
DUDAPAIVA COMPANY is an international puppeteering company that interprets the lively cross-over of dance and objects in a exciting and original form of contemporary dance theatre. In their artistic development, the makers felt the urge to add a new discipline: new media. Founder and artistic director Duda Paiva is the inspiring embodiment of the original disciplines of the company, puppeteering and dancing, where now a new expertise will be added. This requires other makers in the process and another working method. This new approach of working equally with different expertises is what we call co-creation at MAPLAB.
You can watch the trailer Animating the space lab | Duda Paiva Company on our MAPLAB channel here.
The main question for the lab research from Mach 31 – April 3 at MAPLAB was how to animate the space as a third character, interacting with the other players: the dancer/puppeteer and the puppet. One of the most remarkable outcomes is that this can be done powerfully, and its success depends surprisingly on traditional considerations of space, rhythm and time.
Subquestions were: What is necessary to create an interesting dialogue between performer, puppet and space? How do light, sound and video design relate to each other and can they become an equal player? And to what extend is it interesting to let the puppet control the technic?
Video and light designer Wilco Alkema reflected on this last subquestion: “We created for instance a setup in which the puppet controlled sound volume with her arm, x pos in the soundfile with the pitch of her head, and singing with her mouth. This worked very well because the movement used were her natural movements. These movements weren’t counterintuitive with the produced auditive result. The result was a tight integration of the actions and the sound produced by the puppet. The actor could play with the different possibilities this set of rules implied. Like learning an instrument the actor got better with practising and was able to produce a coherent performance without being tied to a linear timeline.”
This research lab was a first collaboration between MAPLAB and Duda Paiva Company in preparations for DPC’s new show BLIND. Both parties have the intention to continue this collaboration in working with puppeteering and (sensor) technology.