Gina Hoch-Stall is a full-time student pursuing an MFA in dance at The Ohio State University. She is also the Artistic Director of RealLivePeople, a Philadelphia-based dance-theater company. Gina’s choreography has been performed across the United States and in Europe and she has received funding from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, the Fels Foundation, and the Puffin Foundation. This past semester she performed in a new work by Bebe Miller and also created a solo, entitled your viewing pleasure, that earned a place in the OSU Winter Concert. This month Gina heads back to the East Coast for a multi-city tour with RealLivePeople that fits, almost perfectly, within her class schedule. She is also working on a new quartet, The You in Us, that will invite audience members to co-create the dance in real time during its performance in the OSU Spring Concert.
I am currently researching new choreographic methods for facilitating audience activation and engagement with live dance performance. One strand of this investigation involves cultivating movement material that draws attention to the vulnerability and humanity of the performers, alongside their virtuosity, by offering almost-impossible phrasework and tasks that requires so much brain space that there is no room for showing, only doing – and maybe sharing. I am also playing with methods of communication between performers and audiences. Some questions I’m exploring with
- Is it possible to directly address the audience as a group, draw attention to their choices for viewing the work and allow that awareness to shape, not only their perception, but also the outcome of the work itself?
- How can I design and integrate technological interfaces that allow each spectator to become co-author of the work by rating their level of engagement and shaping the duration and flow of the piece in real time?
I am specifically interested in generating performance spaces that activate ephemerality – inviting both performers and audiences to share and shape the outcome of the work in ways that are not replicable by any other configuration of individuals. In the past I have used highly rehearsed improvisational dance and theater scores to create real time dances with my company members based on anonymous audience submissions. This method was effective but also somewhat formulaic. I am curious about how my tactics might emerge from the audience, rather than having many details planned out in advance.