March 5, 2019
GIANT LEAP SET TO LAUNCH FIRST ZERO-GRAVITY DANCE TRAINING
Groundbreaking dance company comes to New England for training at Smith College on March 11th- 13th
and presentation at MIT Media Lab's
Beyond the Cradle: Envisioning a New Space Age conference
on March 14th
(Boston, MA) — GIANT LEAP, a new movement arts company working at the intersection of space, dance and technology, has been invited to conduct the first-ever zero gravity (“zeroG”) dance training at Smith College on March 11th - 13th. The training will be led by Dr. Kitsou Dubois, a revolutionary choreographer whose work includes performances with NASA and the French National Centre for Space Studies. At the conclusion of the training, Dubois and GIANT LEAP co-founder Adam Dipert, a PhD candidate in particle and astrophysics at Arizona State University, will present a talk and facilitate the Creative Movement in ZeroG workshop at MIT's Media Lab's Beyond the Cradle: Envisioning a New Space Age conference at 3 pm on March 14th.
Dr. Dubois, who in 1990 was the first artist of any discipline to perform in zeroG, holds luminary status for advancing our present-day understanding of zeroG. Dr. Susmita Mohanty, astropreneur and Co-Founder of Earth2Orbit, says, “Dubois knows more about human movement in microgravity than most astronaut trainers.” A cohort of 7 dancers from around the country have been selected to participate in her training, including two Massachusetts residents: Chris Aiken, Professor of Dance at the Five College Consortium, and Antonia Craige, MFA candidate in Dance at Smith College.
Throughout the week dancers will perform underwater maneuvers in a scuba dive pool, study the physics of zeroG movement principles, and practice adapting to severe perspective shifting without experiencing vertigo and vestibular system recalibration to exercise the inner ear. Additional training will include zeroG flights, indoor skydiving, floatation tanks and aerial dance.
Subsequent to the Dubois training, GIANT LEAP will spend six months developing and choreographing their first performance, planned for October 5, 2019, in concert with NASA’s International Observe the Moon Night, UN-declared World Space Week, and the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 moonwalk. The performance will be physically grueling due to a flight pattern that rapidly transitions from highG to zeroG, on a plane that creates sessions of zeroG in large parabolic arcs in the air between 14,000 to 35,000 feet. The production will include costumes, props, lighting and a new 4D omnidirectional camera technique designed and prototyped by the GIANT LEAP team for the constrictive environmental parameters.
GIANT LEAP’s founders started the company because human physiological development and movement is defined by living within a gravity-centric world. Co-Founder Adam Dipert, shares: “It’s time for us to deepen the exploration of what it means to be human in space, to challenge our physical, mental, and creative baselines by making art developed beyond gravity.” Unlike dancing on Earth, zeroG allows for three-dimensions: the ideas of “up” and “down” are obsolete.
SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have all been making headlines as they develop the technology to bring the general public into space. In 2017, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson advocated funding for a space-centric entertainment industry. Co-Founder Allegra Searle-LeBel concludes: “Our mission is to be the first dance company to perform in outer space. What VR is in 2019, I believe zero gravity dance will be in 2025.”
To schedule interviews or observe one of GIANT LEAP’s March workshops, please contact Publicist Lilian Muecke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GIANT LEAP, Co-Founder
Dipert is a PhD candidate in particle and astrophysics at Arizona State University, a professional circus performer, contact improvisation dancer and scientist. He has worked at Los Alamos National Lab and the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory, and his dance and circus performances have been viewed online 1+ million times.
GIANT LEAP, Co-Founder
Searle-LeBel is the US Coordinator for World Space Week, and directs dance performances internationally. Her past work includes a collaboration at the Whitney Museum with Laura Poitras, an immersive banquet with modernist chef Maxime Bilet, and commissions from Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence and the Contemporary Dance Association of Korea.
Dr. Kitsou Dubois, Choreographer
As Artistic Director of Ki Productions, Dr. Dubois coordinates researchers, artists, and students in partnership with the University Paris 8, ENS Louis-Lumière, Académie Fratellini, and ENSAD. She has a PhD in Aesthetics, Sciences, and Technologies of the Arts from University of Paris.