Disembodied Performance

Opera of the Future group


Early in the opera "Death and the Powers," the main character, Simon Powers, is subsumed into a technological environment of his own creation. The set comes alive through robotic, visual, and sonic elements that allow the actor to extend his range and influence across the stage in unique and dynamic ways. This environment assumes the behavior and expression of the absent Simon; to distill the essence of this character, we recover performance parameters in real time from physiological sensors, voice, and vision systems. Gesture and performance parameters are then mapped to a visual language that allows the off-stage actor to express emotion and interact with others on stage. To accomplish this, we developed a suite of innovative analysis, mapping, and rendering software systems.