The Cycle Exchange 2014
A radical digital dance off between the UK and France
French and British youth groups are set to exchange dance styles, share inspiration, and challenge cultural divides… live on stage.
The Cycle Exchange is a project that will mirror the union of France and Yorkshire that is demonstrated through the Tour de France this summer. The focus is to unite marginalised young people from both sides of the English Channel, using contemporary dance and sophisticated telepresence technology.
Telepresence is a creative and environmentally sound method of enabling two geographically removed communities to be united through technology. Using telepresence, the Yorkshire dancers will connect with their French counterparts during a three-month programme of rehearsal workshops. The technology will allow the French dance collective to virtually dance alongside their English colleagues; building an artistic collaboration and cultural exchange.
The programme will eventually culminate in a live dance performance on 29th June 2014. Telepresence technology will allow both youth groups to perform a unified dance piece, whilst being over 800km apart. The young people engaging in this activity are from challenging social and economic backgrounds, who might otherwise be disenfranchised from cultural activities. Both groups may also be inexperienced in working with other cultures, and are mindful of historical divides between France and the UK. The Cycle Exchange aims to supersede these predeterminations by allowing them to develop and create a symbiotic piece of contemporary dance together. It is a union of countries to stimulate art in deprived areas, and instill a shift of perception to both cultural and national stereotypes.
We aim to enrich levels of creativity, knowledge of dance, and cultural understanding. The Cycle Exchange focuses on the hip-hop scene, which is thriving in both countries. This creates a vibrant and cutting edge contemporary dance offering. However it also draws together the roots of the performers, and a battle aspect that emulates the competitive spirit of the Tour de France. The Cycle Exchange will create an aesthetically beautiful and challenging visual piece where the viewer and participant will be taken to a ‘third space’. This ‘third space’ will involve the inter-lacing of the dancers bodies as they swap and layer over each other via technology.
This high quality artistic intervention will appeal to a broad range of ages. The Cycle Exchange welcomes both experienced and non-experienced dancers, and has partnered with excellent local, regional and national organisations: The Square Chapel (Halifax), Yorkshire Dance (Leeds), and Body>Data>Space (London).