A contemporary dance piece in Immersive Virtual Reality
Gilles Jobin has created the first ever choreographic work in immersive virtual reality. With VR_I, the choreographer will invite the audience for a unique sensory experience. Equipped with virtual reality headsets, five visitors at a time freely navigate a real world inhabited by virtual dancers. Developed in association with Artanim, VR_I had its World Premiere in October 2017 at the 46th edition of the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal.
For the first time ever, a choreographer combines dance with immersive virtual reality in a work that provides viewers with a unique sensory experience. Blending art with technology, VR_I resulted from the encounter between Gilles Jobin and the founders of Artanim, Caecilia Charbonnier and Sylvain Chagué, motion capture technology experts and virtual reality pioneers in Switzerland and abroad. In association with them, Gilles Jobin developed VR_I, a work in which the creator questions our perception of reality and enters new unexplored and unchartered territories for contemporary dance. Thanks to the virtual reality technology developed by Artanim, VR_I viewers equipped with virtual reality headsets and backpack computers move freely in a total virtual space. Five viewers at a time may explore this world, moving in turn in an endless desert, an urban landscape or inside a loft at the top of a mountain. Participants each embody an avatar that faithfully replicates their movements, enhancing the feeling of immersion in the virtual world while also enabling them to see their peers. During the experience, participants can thus interact physically and even communicate with the others. Five virtual dancers then come to blur their perception, multiplying, growing to the point of becoming giants or becoming tiny. With these effects of scale, Gilles Jobin addresses the concept of spatiality in a truly original way. The international cast for this work that was designed and produced in Switzerland features American composer Carla Scaletti, Belgian fashion designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard and dancers Victoria Chiu, Susana Panadés Diaz, Diya Naidu, Tidiani N’Diaye and Gilles Jobin himself.
Cie Gilles Jobin is supported by the City of Geneva, the Canton of Geneva and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council
Gilles Jobin is the recipient of the 2015 Swiss Grand Award for Dance, awarded by the Office fédéral de la culture
VR_I has received the support of the Fondation Meyrinoise du Casino