The acclaimed Taiwanese choreographer, dancer, and inventor Huang Yi and his robot companion KUKA bring razor sharp precision and stunning artistry to a spellbinding work examining the relationship between humans and technology.
As a child, he longed for a robot friend. As an adult, he created a robot to dance with—becoming a two-time winner of Taipei Digital Art Performance Award along the way. Harmoniously weaving together the art of dance and the science of mechanical engineering, Huang Yi & KUKA is a poetic work that flawlessly intertwines modern dance and visual arts with the realm of robotics. Huang’s pioneering work is steeped in his fascination with the relationship between humans and robots; he simultaneously re-imagines dance and questions humanity through a hybrid performance piece that mesmerizes.
“Perfect combination of tremendous technological complexity and superior artistic standard.”
— Vice China
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Named by Dance Magazine as one of the “25 to Watch,” Huang was immersed in the arts at a young age, spending much of his childhood in his parents’ studio watching them teach tango and learning to paint alongside his father. He is widely considered one of Asia’s most prolific choreographers. Huang’s work has received high praise at venues around the world, including the Ars Electronica Festival (Austria), Tasdance and Dancenorth (Australia), Joyce Theater, Engien-Les-Bain Centre des Arts (France), Cloud Gate 2 (Taipei), the Indonesian Dance Festival (Jakarta), New York Live Arts, and the American Dance Festival (North Carolina). Huang’s collaboration with Cloud Gate 2 toured internationally in 2012, to much acclaim. He has received awards for his work at Digital Arts Center Taipei and the 3rd Cross Connection Ballet International Choreography Competition in Copenhagen, among many others across Europe and Asia.
“Dancing face to face with a robot is like looking at my own face in a mirror … I think I have found the key to spin human emotions into robots.” — Huang Yi
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Dancers activate the space by negotiating snakes and ladders—which represent the heights of ecstasy and depths of longing in Hindu and Sufi thought—to connect the human with the transcendent and reveal mysteries within the self, choreographed by Aparna Ramaswamy and Ranee Ramaswamy. Composer Amir ElSaffar leads a musical ensemble with a distinct alchemy of Iraqi, jazz, and Carnatic instruments.