The Addition of Atoms - Rehearsal

Created for the Norwegian Opera & Ballet På tå hev 2022.

The process began with exploring the concept of atomic and subatomic movement in a choreographic and compositional context. The music was composed with the idea of representing and characterising the sound of atoms moving through space and interacting with one another, whilst structurally developing complexity over its duration through waves of horizontal and vertical themes building on an ostinato motif. Each subsequent wave used the principle of addition to elongate the horizontal themes in relation to the ostinato, creating a shifting structure for the choreography to follow.

The addition principle also guided the choreography, manifesting in a variety of ways within the material. The addition of dancers over the course of the piece, lengthening the movement phrases to reflect the added notes in the music, and cyclical patterns in the space creating images of perpetual flux. The various types of molecular and electron movements were used as the basis for material generation. For orbital movement, the dancers’ extremities carved wide arcs and circles around their centres, like electrons around a nucleus. Vibrational molecular movement translated to a sharp and rapid transfer of weight, while rotational and translational movement converted to turning jumps and traveling through space.

Music: The Addition of Atoms by Joseph McNamara
Dancers: På tå hev - Ut i landet
Photography: Helena Byrt