The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight is a social sculpture—a sensory journey, for two performers and audience. Dancing, singing, telling stories and asking questions, leading UK disabled artist Claire Cunningham and international choreographer and performer Jess Curtis, combine performance, original music, and video to wrestle (sometimes literally) with important questions about our habits and practices of perceiving each other and the world.
In collaboration with noted author and philosopher of perception Dr. Alva Noë, video artist Yoann Trellu, composer Matthias Herrmann, and dramaturge Luke Pell, they perform an evening-length duet that excavates their own ways of seeing each other—as a man and a woman of different ages, bodies and backgrounds. In 2005 Curtis was the choreographer who first introduced Cunningham to movement, leading to her career as a choreographer in her own right. Now a decade later they return to work together to co-create The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight.
How do we look at each other? How do we allow ourselves to be seen? How do our physicality’s shape how we perceive the world around us? How much can we affect the way we see others? Can we learn to see across lines of difference in new ways?
Performance Research Experiment #2.2 is a full-evening, interactive performance/experiment mixing contemporary dance, circus, performance art, live music and science. Creator/performers Jess Curtis and Jörg Müller along with French media artist Yoann Trellu, examine the relationships of live art and science to the body and culture. The evening is constructed of 17 performance actions that are presented while measuring and projecting data from specific physical reactions (heart rates and skin conductivity) of selected audience members into the performance.
This project was engaged in a number of questions. We asked ourselves how our imaginations and our bodies interact? How do the ways we imagine our bodies shape and change both their cultural relevance and their material actuality? How do our bodies shape our imaginations? Can re-imagining our bodies and re-embodying our imaginations be useful tools for making society more open, just and satisfying for us all?