Guerilla Dance Project finding the dances in everyday life Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:20:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Female Innovator in Music: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:17:38 +0000 Guerilla Dance Project’s Founder Laura Kriefman has been chose as a Keychange participant!

Keychange is a European-wide project that supports, celebrates and invests in the talent of female music creators and innovator.

Recognised as a leading female innovator in music, Laura Kriefman joins 59 other amazing women from across Europe (10 from UK). Pretty fantastic we’d say!

You can read more here: And there’s even a great playlist to listen too!..

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Smart Oxford Playable City Shortlist Tue, 11 Jul 2017 08:56:56 +0000 We’re really excited to announce that Guerilla Dance Project are one of 6 projects shortlisted for the Smart Oxford PLayable City Award: You can see all six shortlisted projects here.

And our very own project is open for comments until the 19th July. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Performance: Kinnernet Europe Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:56:30 +0000 Laura was asked to attend, and perform at Kinnernet Europe.

This great un-conference event takes place in the historic town of Avalon in France. A beautiful location.

Laura previewed the first 1/2 hour of the show and the feedback was fantastic:

“Amazing”, “True artistry”, “could have listened to the music for hours”, “extraordinary costume”, “such tap dancing!”, “the integrity, the detail!”

And the audience demanded an encore!

1536 glow worms at Glastonbury. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:56:01 +0000 It was great to be invited back to the Greenpeace Field at Glastonbury to create a new interactive installation for them. in 2014 Phill Tew and I created the Jellyfish– made from recycled plastic bottles and flocking towards the Greenpeace field.

This year we were given the gorgeous Grottos to play with:
We built a sound reactive LED installation of 1536 glow worms, that glittered and changed colour and appeared and disappeared according to what they heard. It was great fun to be part of such a lovely field and the fundraising efforts of Greenpeace. We’re just waiting for our photos and films to come back, but here’s some mobile phone snippets to whet your appetite.

Greenpeace made a lovely film which shows the wider field:

Greenpeace Field – Glastonbury

Wow! What an Incredible weekend!Thanks so much to everyone who came to the Greenpeace Field at Glastonbury to show us some love. See you again in 2019!

Posted by Greenpeace UK on Monday, June 26, 2017

Performance: Wear-It Berlin Thu, 08 Jun 2017 08:54:55 +0000 Laura was invited to Berlin to be the headline act at the Opening Ceremony of Wear-It Berlin

She previewed a new 20 minute set for Kicking the Mic.

There were some great speakers working in the wearable tech field, and some great manufacturing techniques on display: We’re excited to see what she makes next!

The fantastic catwalk photographer Michael Witting took some stunning shots, and we were so glad to get to meet him in person.

Opening Ceremony with a Performance by Laura Kriefman (Founder Guerilla Dance Project) at the first day of the Wear It Festival – The Conference on Wearable Tech, Collaboration & Disruption, on 8-9 June 2017 at the Kulturbrauerei Berlin – (c) Wear It Berlin / Michael Wittig, Berlin

Venice Biennale Artwork Sun, 14 May 2017 11:03:54 +0000 I am excited to announce that I was commissioned by the Tunisian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017 to create a piece of work on the theme of migration.

At this year’s 57th Art Biennale in Venice, Tunisia will exhibit “The Absence of Paths”, its first pavilion since 1958. They chose to forgo the closed-off pavilions of Venice in favour of an interactive, performative exhibit. A series of immigration offices staffed by North African migrants will be set up along the outskirts of the Biennale. They will be handing out securitised documents meant to symbolically allow entry into a speculative, borderless world. These offices, which utilise the cold mechanics of bureaucracy to imagine a world with freedom of movement, will serve as a humorous way to spark a participatory debate on the absurdity of contemporary migration.

Along side these ‘immigration offices’, the curator Lina Lazaar created a beautiful online platform that brought together work from all over the world exploring migration – photographs, stories, films, recipes and tweets.

They had a very tight turn around and I decided to pick up on a thought I’d been having about how, no matter or glorified mode of transport, in the end it is our bodies, our feet that take us everywhere. I decided to make a short, repeating silent film.

New Tech: New Movement: New Future Fri, 05 May 2017 15:36:55 +0000 Laura was asked by Pavilion Dance South West to curate a one day conference about Movement and Technology.

“It was a real honour to shape a day for the industry that interrogated alot of the ideas around craftmanship, skills, changemaking, new locations, narratives and ideas.”

We had an extraordinary line up which you can see in the brochure here.

Katy Noakes came on behalf of Theatre Bristol and wrote a great blog piece about the project You can find the original on the Theatre Bristol website.

We have reprinted here for you:
“My relationship with technology is best described as ‘complicated’. It’s a little like my relationship to Tony Blair – admiration for it’s ability to vision a brave new world and respect for it’s ability to effect change and equalities, tarred by a sneaking suspicion it will one day turn around, stab you in the back and sell you out for the dollar.

Working in dance, the physical body is our primary medium. I have always believed that dance’s unique strength is it’s visceral, kinetic connection. The stuff that makes our muscles twitch in empathy and buried recall, that makes our blood flow a little bit faster and makes us believe our bodies are dancing with them.

Technology and physical performance both fascinates and scares me. It’s evolving so much quicker than the human body ever can. Please bear with me while I try to move beyond my reactionary body protectionist tendencies…..

At the same time that Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) were holding this event, The Edge at Bath were also hosting CoLab. It’s astonishing that two regional arts organisations are so subliminally in tune. This is clearly important work. And work that Bristol based artists are pioneering with the support of PM studios – Julia Thorneycroft Dance and Zubr VR shared their ‘Immersion’ work in Bath while Laura Kriefman curated and presented at PDSW in Bournemouth.

And a mighty fine job she did too. There was a fascinating range of presenters; sound designers, installation artists, an aerialist, a vocal artist, tech developers, choreographers, dance researchers and artists. This was exciting grounds for collaboration, carefully structured to put technology tourists like me at ease.

Chagall, a musician and vocal artist working with programmed gloves that feed the music tracks, showed how the gloves have forced her to think like a dancer. She worked with a choreographer to develop her live performance and found that she could work with the technology to discover what her movement sounds like.

Composer Joseph Hyde spoke passionately about the power of sound to affect us; Karina James, an aerial artist who is registered blind, is working with audio description to see how she can make it more poetic and less didactic. Collaborators spoke about how they created a shared language between artists and digital experts rather than artists having to learn a new language and Jasmine Wilson from Studio Wayne McGregor explained how they worked with technology as an 11th company member, in a reiterating process of call and response.

Laura had pulled in some real pioneers here. I remember reading about the work of ‘body > data > space’ at Chisenhale back in the early 90s and feeling curious but bewildered. I had no way of imagining what they were writing about. Ghislaine Boddington explained how their work was about putting the body at the centre and how, since the fledgling telepresence technology of the early 90’s, we’ve become so much more tele-intuitive. Key to Ghislaine’s work is hearing and seeing each other at a distance. Headsets were proving a conundrum, leading her to question whether they are disembodiment or hyper embodiment, a question we got to explore over lunch.

Over lunchtime there was a chance to experience ‘Whist ’ by AфE, an experience ‘that merges physical theatre and mixed reality technology’. Queuing for our headsets, some of us couldn’t help but notice the body language of others already ‘in’ the experience. Feet firmly rooted while they took time to locate themselves and adjust, arms hanging ready against torsos, hands waiting. “They all look like zombies having the life sucked out of them!” said the person next to me. This was starting to look distinctly Black Mirror.

Headset on, I entered a room with a trunk in the corner. A girl began to crawl out of the trunk, she scurried across the floor to different corners, scribbling indecipherable messages and sums, then moving with more velocity until I no longer knew where my feet were or where I was in the room.

This was beautifully crafted and gently discombobulating. It merited more time than was possible to really appreciate this. I struggled to adjust to being in a shared space without being able to see or make eye contact with others. I enjoy the communal moments of live performance and couldn’t help feeling that if I want a lone audience experience I can stay at home and watch telly. But perhaps I’m missing the point and actually the potential of this is way past being limited to traditional arts audiences.

Kendra Horsborough of Birdgang, (to my mind a company of some of the most talented, exciting and relevant artists around), has been a PDSW Discovery Innovation artist in residence at Redweb – a creative technology company based in Bournemouth. Together they’d been exploring control and participation, with dancers controlled by the viewer via vibrating motors attached to the arm. They found that when you take choice and decision away from people it helps them learn to dance. Non dancers found contemporary dance more accessible and exciting than they had expected.

Kendra is also R&Ding a new work, ‘Nox – Evidence of Absence’, a 360 VR experience whose starting point is the idea of an alter ego. In R&D Kendra explored how with dance as the main story telling tool, the video can guide and direct the audience rather than allowing total free choice of eye direction. Again, the concept of technology as a partner was central, “I wanted those moments when you feel like there’s a real exchange,” and the sense that technology’s impact can help us bypass conscious reaction, “The interaction can almost make you forget that you are dancing.” For an art form that always feels vulnerable and under resourced, this offers huge potential to reach new audiences and participants.

A recurring theme throughout the day was the fluidity, poetry and responsiveness it’s possible to produce with digital tools. An inviting offer to really make technology work for us. And reassurance that technology can work for those of us creating physically. Jasmine from Studio Wayne McGregor: “What’s interesting is that dance is about pushing the potential of the body. If technology makes this potential limitless it can become less meaningful and diluted. Neither can replace the other and they both need each other. What we’re looking at is how we make that seamless.”

Katy Noakes

For Theatre Bristol Agents

Further info and links for ‘New Tech: New Movement: New Futures’ partners and

INK Talk: Jack of All Trades Tue, 02 May 2017 15:37:45 +0000 My talk at the INK Conference in Goa is now up online:
This was a mildly terrifying talk, as the wrong slidedeck came up! But I’m still pleased with the outcome.

Tales from the Playa Tue, 02 May 2017 15:36:37 +0000 What happens to creativity in an alkaline desert?
I was recently invited to go over to Burning Man in the Nevada Desert.
Burning Man has run for 30 years, and every year the participants build Black Rock City.
Black Rock City leaves no trace, is populated with 60,000 people for a week, and has no phone signal or wifi at all.

On my return I gave a lunchtime talk at the Pervasive Media Studio about my insights into the creativity I encountered: from interactive installations, mechanical beasts, secret sound stages and burning artworks. All of which are built to inspire a city that lasts for only one week.

Rosie: Who works at the PM Studio did a great little write-up of my enthusiasm:

Laura Kriefman is a Choreographer who works in augmented forms of dance. You may know her from her impressive Mass Crane Dance project, which took to the Bristol Harbourside around this time last year and attracted 10,000 audience members who witnessed three industrial cranes complete a synchronised performance. When she’s not making large structures career around in unison, Laura likes to enjoy the finer things in life, which is why she recently embarked on a trip to an annual gathering of artists in the heart of the Nevada Desert: Burning Man Festival. Here are five things I learned about her experience:

1. Why is everyone dressed like a Mad Max extra?

Laura’s preconceptions of Burning Man included the bizarre notion that everyone dressed dystopian-chic for the occasion. It was only when she got out to Black Rock City in the Nevada Desert when she realised the necessity of such fashion choices. The festival becomes home to 70,000 people over eight days, in a self-built city. The environment in the alkaline desert is so aggressive, with an altitude of 4000ft above sea level, searing hot temperatures, and sand storms that leave skin cracked. Appropriate clothing needs to leave the individual cool and protected from sun and sand, which makes it unsurprising that people dress as though they’re from war-torn or barren landscapes.

2. A gift economy renders money almost obsolete

The community that erupts is one of generous artists, who abandon their sense of a free-market economy in favour of a gift economy, i.e. sharing and giving in a mutually beneficial environment. With coffee and ice the only things money can buy, a communal necessity of food provision and experience takes over and creates a welcoming home for those who have made the pilgrimage to the event. Laura’s own experience of this generosity-in-kind led her to view the festival from the skies – with a pilot taking her on a plane trip around the desert. From this perspective, Laura could see the intricate maze of the city, built from art and remnants that have been brought along by attendees to create villages and installations. By way of payment, Laura assisted in pushing the plane back to the refuelling station. This respectful way of living really comes to fruition at the end of the eight-day stint, when attendees pack up all their belongings leaving no trace of the festival having taken place.

3. Burning Man nails secular worship

Each year, the ‘Burners’ erect a temple made from foraged wood with expert craftsmanship. This space becomes a secular space of worship, made sacred by the community. People bring offerings to the temple in the form of photos, messages and mementos. It is frequently used as a place to grieve. At the end of the eight days, it is burned into nothingness – a fitting metaphor for letting go.

4. Burning Man has four distinct tempos

Laura describes the festival as a city that never sleeps. In the night, it is cool. This is a time to reclaim energy levels and submit to a period of illuminated artworks and pyrotechnics. By dawn there is stillness and calm, with people retreating to their villages to prepare for the day ahead. The daytime is hot, harsh, and tough on you…and full of hidden surprises, including sandstorms! And by sunset, just before the cycle begins again, there is the bubbling of excitement with the prospect of the evening’s activities.

5. Art from here, there and everywhere

Laura lamented that you can’t go far without encountering friends from Bristol and it’s locality, and Burning Man was no exception. She had heard murmurings of a familiar sculptural project involving Flaming Lampposts and was surprised to find Arcadia Spectacular had an installation set up. But aside from the work she was accustomed to, Laura was overwhelmed by some of the international work that caught her attention. She shared snaps of counter-levered lighthouses that burned green with the help of chemicals, created by father-son artist duo Jonny and Max Poynton. A giant articulated metalwork boar designed for climbing on by Bryan Tedrick. A set of giant insects whose wings glowed red-hot with the help of live-rigging of pyrotechnics by Therm. An armada of tree-sized mushrooms, built from corrugated materials allowing the shapes to swell and adjust as though breathing by Foldhaus Artist Collective.

And, perhaps the most astonishing work from the festival was created by the artists Laura was camping with, who cycled the entire network of roads in the city to create an improvised Strava map – to complete accuracy. This required a 5am set off time and several hours of cycling, but the legacy within the app will stay with the festival long after it’s disassembled and returned to sand.

Where can we buy tickets for next year?

Slow Into Motion Teaser Tue, 02 May 2017 15:35:29 +0000 We’ve been filming a new “secret-secret” project using cutting edge slow motion capture cameras. You can watch three small teasers of the final slow motion footage: