Catching the energy generated during the weekend of the Bay to Breakers, dynamic Capacitor lights up the evenings of May 17th and 18th, with Flux Capacitor Avatars, a video-game style voyage into the heroic worlds of five mythological characters, at the King Street Garage, 174 King Street, South of Market.
Avatars is Capacitor’s newest, fresh fusion of dance, martial arts and circus. Two rounds of live performance will take place each night. The 8:30 p.m. show offers seating, a full bar and an uninterrupted run of Avatars for audiences who want to partake the traditional way. The 10:30 show is a flux capacitor event featuring some of the Bay Area’s hottest DJs alternating sets with Capacitor’s 15-minute performance sequences for those who want to immerse themselves in the fusion of sound, visuals and motion. Tickets for both shows are $15 in advance at www.capacitor.org and $20 at the door.
With over twenty performing and visual artists mixing it up under the artistic direction of choreographer Jodi Lomask, Avatars juxtaposes sound, movement, animation, video, whimsical costumes and new rigging designs. Seven Capacitor performers, six motion capture animators, a film director, two sound composers, two riggers, a costume designer, special effects and lighting designers, and two sculptors pack a punch in Capacitor’s new work.
As with past flux capacitor events, the late show intersperses live performance with sets of techno, house and breaks laid down by Bay Area DJs Anon (Eyephunk) and Mikebee (true intent) on Friday followed by Markie (Wicked) and Joe Rice (Friends & Family) on Saturday.
Local special guests include the Crown City Rockers, formerly known as Mission: playing live hip-hop at the early show on Friday night and Vainglorious with a new performance installation.
Avatars features new, intense visuals. House of Moves put together a team of motion capture artists to create animations of the live performers in Avatars. Featured Capacitor dancers visited the House of Moves studio in Los Angeles where motion capture artist Josh Ochoa headed a team that recorded the performers’ movement sequences. These sequences were then transformed into animations that audiences will see in action during the performance.
Capacitor’s prominent use of props added an extra dimension to the motion capture project, requiring Ochoa to record the motion of both humans and objects at the same time. Ochoa explains, “The juggler performs with three props, all of which are being tracked at 120 frames per second.” Jarrod Phillips, House of Moves vice-president of sales and marketing adds, “This project includes some of the most aggressive prop moves ever captured.”
Josh Callaghan rounds out the visual component of Avatars with several short films that draw out the major themes of the show. Callaghan’s films have been screened nationally and internationally, including Straight Outta Hunters Point, an award-winning documentary about an embattled San Francisco Public Housing Project and Modern Transportation in Nepal, a Fulbright Fellowship funded video that follows objects traveling from source to destination in the Himalayan Kingdom.
Each performance opens with the mischievous Vainglorious, an experimental performance collective that curates “experiences.” At their last Capacitor appearance at SomArts in February 2000, Vainglorious processed audience members with their Bureau of Systematic Extraction and even gave some willing participants new identities as they entered the “future” of future species2. While details are never revealed prior to a Vainglorious appearance, the new installation is sure to delight.
Along with co-founders Jodi Lomask and Zack Bernstein, Avatars features a cast of diverse and phenomenal performers including dancer/staff artist Alexander Zendzian, Afro-brazilian capoerista Lindell Dixon, dancer Jaime Duggan, aerialist Jocelynn Rudig, and Chih-Ting Shih, an Oakland Ballet dancer who appears as a special guest and brings her extensive background in Chinese folk dance to the production.