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Virtual Puppetry

Two mime players become virtual puppeteers and improvise an encounter between two heads. The performers use two controllers to move through the virtual space. One controller is the head, the other controller gives extra options such as becoming bigger or make certain sounds. The performers have to use their full body to being the virtual characters to life. When sounds are being triggered, the mouth of the virtual puppets move which helps to believe the characters. A free jazz guitarist is in the VR headset and reacts to the improvisation of the characters. The music interacts with the colours of the landscape so music and space are also connected. Multiple camera’s are being placed in the scene and been shown on the screen. Each character has a camera attached and there is one separate camera controlled by another separate performer, to get a general overview of the scene.

The core of the performance is the interaction between the live performers improvising with the physical bodies and the result we see on screen. It’s not only about the characters on the screen but the beauty of the dialogue between the performers trying to create this story live on screen. The result is an absurd free jazz improvisation for physical, virtual bodies and music. Eventually the project can become a sandbox for improvisation since new stories can be told and improvised within.

Short biography
Robin Coops is a multidisciplinary artist and the artistic leader of the M31 Foundation. He studied directing in Maastricht, after which he took a master’s degree at the Conservatory in The Hague and the Film Academy in Amsterdam. He focuses on the tension between fear and the desire to lose control, either as a theme or a methodology. The use of (new) technology in relation to the body often plays an important role. Coops has worked with various companies including Oorkaan, Silbersee, OPERA2DAY, DNOA and ICK. Under the flag of M31 Foundation he produced and directed works such as the opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Theater Na de Dam 2016) and the dance films Touch (IFFR 2020) and Sync (Cinedans 2021) and the opera Orphée | L’Amour | Eurydice (DNO 2022). At this very moment he is working on a new virtual concert series in the Metaverse called The Saga of Sage.