TRONDHJEMS KUNSTFORENING / March 2021 / Curator: Elena Perez



On stage, a dancer and a piano. There is no pianist. The dancer starts making her choreography and the instrument’s keys move responding to her gestures. The music sounds even if her body does not touch the instrument.

Piano & Dancer II is an interactive dance piece for a dancer and a mechanical piano. The piece presents the dancer and the piano as two performers whose movements are mutually interdependent. Specifically, the music of the piece is produced by the mechanical movements of the piano, which are a real-time response to the gestures and expressiveness of the dancer. In this way, the spectator can perceive acoustically intimate aspects of the dance choreography that are usually hidden through the sound that the movements generate.

Piano and Dancer II is a clear, direct and intuitive work art and technology where two disciplines interact, music and dance, to push each other’s boundaries, supported by state-of-the-art- technology that has been developed following artistic needs. The result is a hybrid form: a finely composed dance performance but also a high quality piece of music.
Piano & Dancer II is curated and produced by Trondhjems Kunstforening in collaboration with Meta.Morf 2020. The previous version of the piece has been shown in a range of European theatre houses. Piano & Dancer II is a new version adapted to the intimate rooms of an art gallery. Special thanks to Institute of Music Technology at NTNU for letting us borrow the mechanical piano.

Photo: Gunter Krammer

MUSIC: Pablo Palacio
PERFORMANCE: Muriel Romero
PRODUCTION: Instituto Stocos, Trondhjems Kunstforening
DISSEMINATION: Trondhjems Kunstforening and Meta.Morf
SUPPORTS: EU ICT H2020, Comunidad de Madrid, La Casa Encendida (Spain), Unterwegs Theater (Heidelberg, Germany), Infomus-Casa Paganini University de Genova (Italy) and Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology of Zurich (Switzerland).

SUPPORTS for Piano&Dancer II: AC/E Programme for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE), Trondhjems Kunstforening (TKF) and Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre (TEKS).

Founded by dancer Muriel Romero, musician Pablo Palacio and media artist Daniel Bisig, Instituto Stocos is a Spanish-based group developing performance works and research at the intersection between body gesture, music and interactive visual imagery. They also seek inspiration in other fields by integrating methods, elements and abstractions from artificial intelligence, biology, mathematics and experimental psychology.

Works they have created are, among others: Acusmatrix (2008), Catexis (2010), Double Bind (2012), Neural Narratives 1: Phantom Limb (2013), Neural Narratives 2: Polytopya (2015), Piano & Dancer (2016), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (2017) and Oecumene (2019), which recently premiered at Piksel festival in Bergen. All these
works have toured extensively nationally and internationally in both dance and music networks.

The productions utilize tailor-made technologies, often developed as part of large, pioneering European research projects, such as the Horizon 2020 projects WholoDance, Metabody or D.A.N.C.E. These projects have led Stocos to collaborate closely with groups and institutions working with art and science such as Conventry Univerity, Politecnico de Milano, Motek, TMA Hellerau, Hyperbody TU Delft, Brunel University, K Danse and REverso among others. Instituto Stocos also organizes cultural events that disseminate transdisciplinary artistic forms involving new technologies in the field of art and science. The theoretical body they generate is studied in conservatories and universities all over the world.

Photo: Ximena Y Sergio

Muriel Romero (Murcia, 1972) is a dancer and choreographer. Her work investigates generative choreographic structures and the incorporation of abstractions taken from other disciplines such as music or mathematics. She has won several international prizes such as Moscow International Ballet Competition, Prix de la Foundation de Paris Prix de Laussane and Premio Nacional de Danza. She has been first soloist in some of the most prestigious companies around the world including Deutsche Opera Berlin, Dresden Semper Opera Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballet Munchen, Gran Théatre de Genéve and Compañia Nacional de Danza. During her career she has worked with renowned contemporary choreographers such as William Forsythe, Jiří Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato and Saburo Teshigawara. She currently teaches at the Professional Conservatory of Madrid, where she also lives.



Photo: Ximena Y Sergio

Pablo Palacio (Laredo, 1976) is an independent composer who focuses on algorithmic approaches in music and the sonification of physical movement, currently living in Madrid. His compositions have been performed nationally and internationally, and they are released by the label Sub Rosa in the Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music. He co-directs Instituto Stocos, an interdisciplinary artist-group that creates artworks, develops technologies and publishes research on the interaction between body gesture, music and interactive visual imagery. He has disseminated this work through publications, workshops, and talks in conservatories, university conferences and art institutions such as International Symposium of Movement and Computing, International Computer Music Conference, Missouri State University, and Kunsthall Trondheim among many others.


Header photo: Gunter Krammer

Supported by:
PICE Mobility Grants Accion Cultural Espanola