Is everyone who they say they are on the internet ? Dare You Watch employed viral and transmedia techniques to engage an audience with a live streamed performance. What impact could this cause in an area where ticketed seating is the traditional model of staging? John Darvell, Artistic Director and Choreographer of Nocturn Dance speaks at the Beyond The Stage conference, outlining his experiment with online narrative, responsive performance and stage direction with PostIt notes!
Held as part of part of SHPLive, the Arts Council England funded live stream programme based at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire, the Beyond The Stage conference highlighted creative approaches to developing new work for live streaming to an online audience.
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Over the last year or so, I’ve worked on a couple of projects that use the simple idea of asking the people that my employers engage with what they think of that experience, and using their response as part of promotion or recruitment for other events that people like them also might like to attend. Like a curated or enhanced user generated content situation.
I’m talking about participation in a cultural activity here. It often creates feelings of shared identity, pride, progressing in one’s chosen interest, developing skill and so on. I really just wanted to demonstrate what this looks like. One case is a recruitment campaign for members of a youth dance company. I’ve used the same format twice and it has not failed to produce total PR gold dust each time. The resulting video drawn from this is then spun out on social media and Facebook as a series. Enlisting the participants in the spread of the video that features their comments builds on their enthusiasm as well as being fun. The second instance of this idea is a variation on the theme where the participants themselves were asked to record and supply the video material that we would use to promote the event.
Here’s one of a series of videos I made called “Why Shift?” that were used to recruit new applicants to join the Shift Youth Dance Company at The Place, London. These are shot with no rehearsal on a small handheld Flip camera (hence poor sound)
This next piece has phone camera footage from the youth dance companies involved in a remote collaboration for an event called “ReFresh“, where well known choreographers nominate a piece of music for them to use in a new dance work.
Over the last few months, I’ve been part of a hush-hush art project to promote the variously named 192.168.2.65 or “Dare You Watch” live performance by Nocturn Dance. Combining a 4 hour live stream with a ticketed performance as the culmination, the means of promotion were equally part of the project for me.
We created several presences on Twitter, plus enigmatic email and web marketing to try to interest and audience who may not have responded had the event been tagged with the convenient label “Dance”.
As well as undertaking webmaster duties and operating some of our Twitter “puppets” I produced the live video stream of the event. With streaming being a topic that seems something of a trend at the moment, my approach has always been that we need to explore this format practically in order to gain a greater understanding of what works and how our viewers might Like to engage with it. This doesn’t need particularly expensive equipment to make a start and the learning that emerges is just as valid.
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