Turbulence Commission: “Touching Gravity 2/Tilt” by Caryn Heilman

October 8, 2008
Turbulence Commission: “Touching Gravity 2/Tilt” by Caryn Heilman
(LiquidBody MediaDance), with music by Nana Simopoulos
Needs Flash player and core duo Mac or PC

“Touching Gravity 2/Tilt” is an interactive, aerial videodance superimposed on a composited image of two rivers in the towns of North Adams and Adams, Massachusetts. Part of the “Networked Realities: (Re)Connecting the Adamses” project, the two New England towns are (re)connected through a colorful, fluid, multilayered dance that incorporates the movement of the natural landscape from each town, seen through the “difference” blend mode of the Flash interface.

Users can create and save their own versions of the dance by determining the order and timing of five different clips. Periodically, additional clips will be added so that both the dance and the user experience may evolve.

Composer and instrumentalist Nana Simopoulos has contributed five tracks to accompany the five dance clips; each piece is played on a single instrument representing a different continent. Together, they form a single composition that is layered over the sounds of the two rivers, providing the listener with the ability to remix the musical textures.

“Touching Gravity 2/Tilt” is part of the larger project “Networked Realities: (Re)Connecting the Adamses” — a collaboration between Greylock Arts and Turbulence.org — that includes four commissioned networked art works that will all eventually be housed on the commissioned website www.newadams.es. “Touching Gravity 2/Tilt” will also be part of an interactive, site-specific series at Topia Arts Center (Adams) that looks at the idea of tilting angles of perception to reveal new possibilities.

“Touching Gravity 2/Tilt” is a 2008 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support was provided by Frank and Barbara Peters through the Medici Circle award at the University of California at Irvine.


Caryn Heilman danced for the Paul Taylor Dance Company for ten years before founding her own company, LiquidBody media, movement and dance. With PTDC, she performed on the world’s most prestigious stages and acted as a cultural ambassador for the United States in India, China, Turkey, Hungary and Japan. She is featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary film, Dancemaker. With LiquidBody, performance highlights include Jacob’s Pillow, MA; Dixon Place, NY; amphitheaters in Greece; a spa in Italy; and the Electronic Festival in Warsaw, Poland. Having received a foundation of choreographic tutelage from Paul Taylor – a master of American Modern Dance — Caryn is diving into more experimental territory, focusing on the fluid systems of the body and choreographic structures that include audience interaction, multimedia, live music and aerial dance.

Caryn has received scholarships from the American Dance Festival, Alvin Ailey and is currently on fellowship at the University of California at Irvine completing her MFA in Dance and Technology. For the past three years, she served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Dance Notation Bureau. LiquidBody’s second home is in the Northern Berkshires in Adams, MA where Caryn is Artistic Director of Topia Arts Center, a green arts and education center in development.

Nana Simopoulos draws her music’s melodic color from the map of world cultures. She artfully blends sounds and textures from around the world. Indian sarangi master Ustad Sultan Khan accompanies her on her last two releases, “After The Moon” and “Daughters Of The Sun” (Na Records), #1 on the NAV New Age and World radio charts. Nana’s first album, “Pandora’s Blues,” won critic’s choice from DOWNBEAT Magazine. Nana has been commissioned by numerous dance companies, such as Joffrey Ballet, American Dance Festival, Ballet Hispanico, North Carolina Dance Theater; and by former Pilobolus choreographer Peter Pucci. She has also written for film and theater, including “An Absolute Mystery,” which premiered at La Mama, and “American Dreams, Lost and Found.”

For more Turbulence commissions, please visit http://turbulence.org.