20th October 2020 at 11pm UTC “Clearly or Darkly”by Leslie Bush/Midden Heap Project (Philadelphia, US) duration 30min

“Clearly or Darkly”, Leslie Bush/Midden Heap Project
photo by Rob Li

Clearly or Darkly is a flexible structured improvisational and new media performance. During its year long development, Leslie worked with a team of programmers to design a wearable gyroscopic sensor and visual effects. When the specially designed piece of technology is worn on her torso, Leslie is able to trigger different videos, effects, and transitions based on her directional change in movement, momentum, and speed. Working with an improvisational movement score based on somatic aesthetic performance practices, movement energy modes, and Butoh, each performance of Clearly or Darkly is visually unique. Leslie enters into a duet with herself, in and in between her physical and virtual body. Since the project’s inception in 2019, Leslie has added other visual programs, such as Isadora, and motion capture technology, using a Kinect for Xbox 360, to expand on her “body jockey” practice—a term she coined to encompass her ongoing investigation of improvisation using technological prosthetics.

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Once described as having a “deft grasp of physical and virtual phenomena”, improvisational dance artist and educator Leslie Bush creates visually evocative performances and movement- based installations that encourage viewers to take another look at the unfamiliar. Obsessed with ideas of identity, hybridity, world building and transformation, Leslie situates her process and performances in conversations between movement, new media, and technology. Her work has been described as \”extending definitions of embodiment\”. Based in Philadelphia, Leslie earned a Master of Fine Arts in dance choreography and performance from Temple University in 2017, and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a focus in contemporary dance from Indiana University in 2012. Currently, she teaches movement at community arts centers throughout the Philadelphia region, and has held an appointment as an adjunct faculty member in the dance department at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ since 2017. Leslie created her experimental performance company Midden Heap Project (MHP) in 2018, through which she collaborates with movers, musicians, videographers, and technology experts to explore new ideas. Leslie was a 2018 recipient of a Small But Mighty Arts professional development grant, which she used to take classes on 3D scanning, modeling, and printing at her local maker-space. Her choreography and improvisational work have been presented in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the Old City Festival (Philadelphia), and in exhibitions at Abington Arts Center (Abington, PA). Her publications include research on embodiment in alternative electronic music scenes, which can be found in the 6th edition of Dancer Citizen.

Visual effects are designed and adapted specifically for each performance. The video examples on my website and Vimeo were developed for previous performances. All visuals use Isadora, a Kinect camera, and a wearable gyroscope (not seen in the video samples). www.lbmidden.com vimeo.com/lbmidden ARTIST WEBSITE