Spore was developed through Jeff Higley’s experience of working many times in Colourscape as part of HyperYak. Not only performing within the structure but watching it inflate, move, rise and fall provided the initial stimulus with the idea of blown air being central to the piece. It evolves within the Colourscape structure which is itself transient, formed and sustained by blown air.
There were two related elements that formed the piece. The first was a harmonic sound structure placed in the central silver space made from old organ pipes. The second element is a group of masked and costumed dancers who represented the spores given off by this structure. As the piece began they formed a group around this structure in the central silver space and driven by the sound moved throughout Colourscape. Moving like spores, carried through the space as if by the air that powered the structures different chambers, they drifted, exploring the harmonics of the organ pipe machine and overtone flutes (including small organ pipes) played by the musicians and their physical responses to the visual resonances of the colour chambers.
The reflective and iridescent fabric of their costumes created a strong visual response to the different colour chambers. They moved, coalesced and split apart, forming and reforming as they moved through the space. When the dancers encounter each other and members of the public they will interact in various improvised ways. In addition the reflective costumes with show spectators fragmented views of themselves and the colour environment. As well as responding to colour the kinetic costumes also reflected the nature of a bamboo grove sometimes still, sometimes bending, moving-dancing with the wind. They echo the continuous, subtle movements of the structure they are within which constantly ripples and moves, responding to the air pressure sustaining its form.
Dancers : Kate Pyper, Sally E Dean, Robert Williams
Musicians : Michael Ormiston, Candida Valentino, Jeff Higley
Sound Engineer and organ designer : Matt Saunders
Composer : Michael Parsons
Curator and Devisor : Jeff Higley