Kai Kleinbard – artist – media – process
I build freestyle languages that are influenced by my work with improvisation and vernacular dance. These “languages” are meant to be adaptive forms that respond to stimuli (whether it be sound/music, other people–anything in the environment real or imagined).
Generally, my process involves taking a specific image, say a robot or even more specifically, Ed 209, a malfunctioning police robot from “Robocop.” I then begin to break down the mechanics/the physics of the image’s movement patterns. I try to understand how the image utilizes weight, time, space and flow in order to mimick the physics of the image within my body. Once I’ve interpreted the image’s “physics,” I create a set of movement parameters; within this frame, I have unlimited movement possibilities. Eventually, I layer in behaviors, creating a character that can be combined with other freestyle languages that I’ve developed.
In this process of building adaptive languages, I utilize an emergent creative practice. This allows me to track my interests, explore/build with them, and to make choices about what works and what is less effective.
Below are media clips from various performances:
Creature in the City III: Since 2008 I have created a “Creature in the City” series of dances. Each dance explores various urban phenomenon that I weave into a freestyle character
View with a Ship Passing Through: This piece re-imagines a moment when I viewed a large barge moved slowly through the Hudson River. I play with time moving backwards and forwards on the barge.
Summertime in Vermont, I had time to explore a meditation using this Dave Brubeck tune. I seek to turn my body into a liquid tuning fork, where the music’s vibrations materialize through my body.
Clay Play: for the past 5 years I have been exploring the movement mechanics of the fantastical: cartoons, stop-motion animation, claymation, etc. Here is an experiment of these ideas.
atrain: In the above video I performed at the NY Transit Museum, I play with rushing urban transit time, in and out of an A train.
Meeting 3: Here I play with moving between three characters.
Construction Creature: This is also part of the “Creature in the City” series. I take on the physics/mechanics of a bulldozer.
Space Autobahn Future: I imagine three worlds with different physical properties, taking a spaceship between each one.
Mean Machine: Another “Creature in the City.” The name says it all!
“Impossible Dance: Still Life” [Click on the image above to watch the video] A project curated by Cori Olinghouse. A re-interpretation by Kai Kleinbard of Melinda Ring’s original dance in 1999. Click on the picture to watch the video.