Deborah Abramson - Second Life for Trio A

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Second Life for Trio A

Second Life for Trio A will organize a group of Second Life citizens in a performance of Yvonne Rainer's seminal avant garde dance Trio A (1966), transferring this historic performance work into the world of the digital-live. Participants will construct gestures, learn to perform them, and invite the Second Life public to a performance of the work.

I will invite people to view a clip of Trio A, break the footage of the original, First Life dance into small sections, and divide the work of creating gestures among the participants. Once the gestures are created, they will be shared amongst the participants. We will rehearse performing the gestures as a continuous whole, advertise the performance, and perform for an audience of Second Life citizens. I will also invite Yvonne Rainer to view and comment upon the process.

The original Trio A is particularly appropriate for such an experiment because of Rainer's rejection of physical virtuosity (including dance technique, the compositional mode of theme and variation, and dynamic range) in the work. The performer (sometimes an untrained dancer) executes pedestrian movements strung together in unmodulated continuity. The work has been performed in a wide range of settings and by performers of various backgrounds in the last thirty years. Thus, a performance by Second Life avatars, themselves lacking physical weight and limited in dynamic range and controlled by people of various backgrounds, seems like a fitting occurrence in the life of the dance.

Is this a process of translation, re-enactment, reconstruction, or transformation? What are the legal implications for the status of Rainer's original?

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