Huang Yi (黃翊), a former Cloud Gate 2 choreographer and now an independent artist, will embark on a performance tour of Europe that will take him and his mechanical dance partner KUKA to Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Hungary.
Named as one of the "25 to Watch” list compiled by Dance Magazine in 2011, Huang began to explore the relationship between mankind and technology as early as 2006. Some of his previous creations include an automated violin recital.
He created his groundbreaking digital performance "Huang Yi & KUKA (黃翊與庫卡)” in 2012, taking inspiration from his childhood longings for a robot friend and exploring whether it is possible to have meaningful interactions with machinery.
KUKA, an eight-foot-tall industrial robot of the eponymous German automation brand, is a labor of love. The 795kg machine was tailor-made to Huang's specific orders and the 34-year-old choreographer spends over ten hours programming just one minute of robotic movement.
The resulting human-robot duet combines modern dance, music, and computer programming to form an intense yet tender dialogue. Touted as "pure, danced poetry,” the 70-minute pas de deux challenges the viewer to recognize "not the god but the human in the machine.”
"Huang Yi & KUKA” will be the opening act of the 10th One Dance Week, a contemporary dance festival based in Bulgaria, on Sept. 23. It will then travel to Slovakia as part of the "Bratislava in Movement” showcase on Oct. 1. It will present its final shows in Hungary's Trafó - House of Contemporary Arts on Oct. 5 and 6.
More information on the talented Huang Yi can be found here.