a computer simulated rock show
Big Data commissioned us to create a more theatrical rock-n-roll experience, much like Talking Head’s infamous Stop Making Sense. We pulled inspiration from Big Data’s previous performances as well as Fassbinder’s film, Welt am Draht, and Jay Scheib’s, World of Wires, a 2012 performance piece at the Kitchen and created a high energy theatrical dance/rock show hybrid with choreography by Tyler Gillstrap with Mary-Kate Sheenan, direction by Will O’Hare, and lighting by Jason Carrol.
The show begins in video, with a scene that establishes Big Data’s raison d’être and sets the tone for the evening: ambient music underscores frontman Alan Wilkis as the dark overlord character, BIG DATA, appearing on screen in an office cubicle in a struggle with his laptop that captures our near universal experience of being at the mercy of technology.
In a fit of frustration, Wilkis slams the keyboard down. Connecting film to reality, a real keyboard comes flying out from the screen and the stage comes to life. An automated voice informs the audience of a glitch in the program. Lights reveal the full band on stage slumped in ‘shut down’ mode as the computer voice instructs Alan to press play to begin the simulation—he does. And as the beat kicks the band launches into a 60 minutes of synchronized high energy choreography. Highlights include animations from the Rif6 Cube on Liz’s neon dress, custom neon shades for “Private Eyes”, and narration from the computer voice which prompts the audience to participate in the action– “In order to continue the simulation please jump five times.”
North American Tour
Big Data: Alan Wilkis, Liz Ryan, Gunnar Olsen, Russell Henson, Andrew Pertes
Creative Director: Jon Morris
Choreographer: Tyler Gilstrap
Director: Will O’Hare
Assistant Choreographer: Mary Kate Sheenan
Lighting Designer: Jason Carrol
Management: Crush Music
Photography: by Will O’Hare
Production Assistant: Deb Ervin