Chronus Art Center, Shanghai
9-12 / 15-18 MAY 2019
VR_I is a contemporary dance piece in immersive virtual reality created by Gilles Jobin and Artanim. For the upcoming month, the team will be on tour in Asia: after their first destination in Japan, the fantastic VR_I will be in Shanghai and followed by Korea and Singapore.
For the first time ever, a choreographer combines dance with immersive virtual reality in a work that provides viewers with a unique sensory experience. Blending art with technology, VR_I resulted from the encounter between Gilles Jobin and the founders of Artanim, Caecilia Charbonnier and Sylvain Chagué, motion capture technology experts and virtual reality pioneers in Switzerland and abroad. In association with them, Gilles Jobin developed VR_I, a work in which the creator questions our perception of reality and enters new unexplored and unchartered territories for contemporary dance.
Thanks to the virtual reality technology developed by Artanim, VR_I viewers equipped with virtual reality headsets and backpack computers move freely in a total virtual space. Five viewers at a time may explore this world, moving in turn in an endless desert, an urban landscape or inside a loft at the top of a mountain. Participants each embody an avatar that faithfully replicates their movements, enhancing the feeling of immersion in the virtual world while also enabling them to see their peers. During the experience, participants can thus interact physically and even communicate with the others. Five virtual dancers then come to blur their perception, multiplying, growing to the point of becoming giants or becoming tiny. With these effects of scale, Gilles Jobin addresses the concept of spatiality in a truly original way.
The international cast for this work designed and produced in Switzerland features American composer Carla Scaletti, Belgian fashion designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard and dancers Victoria Chiu, Susana Panadés Diaz, Diya Naidu, Tidiani N’Diaye and Gilles Jobin himself. Since its creation in 2017, VR_I was presented at Sundance Film Festival 2018, and at 75 Mostra Internazionale d’Arte cinematografica / La Biennale di Venezia 2018. VR_I received the Innovation award and the people’s choice award for the best performance at the 49th edition of the Festival du nouveau cinema in Montréal 2017.