projects > collaborations

Backchannel, a probing and adventurous collaboration between choreographer/dancer David Appel and composer/sound artist John Morton, re-defined the relationship between dance, music, and technology through the creation of a dancer-activated sound environment, where movement and proximity of the performers’ bodies generated specific musical responses.

A Lidar sensor, centered in the space, traced the charted and improvised actions of the dancers, triggering sound as their individual and collective location shifted. The piece spoke to motivation and consequence, to synchronicity and conversation, both apparent and “behind the scenes” ...with the audience invited in to experience moments of surprising (and resonant) interaction. Backchannel was also about the path and the journey: how we get from here to there while navigating turns and changes along the way. The alliance and interplay between composer, choreographer, and seasoned movers (Randy Burd, Cecilia Fontanesi, Ava Heller, and Elise Knudson) gave all a more telling voice in this process, addressing essential issues around how we work and create together.

Backchannel was performed November 3-5, 2023 at The Doxsee at Target Margin Theater in Brooklyn, NY.