Boulder aerial dance maven Nancy Smith of Frequent Flyers Productions has been orchestrating the Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder for fifteen years, and she's seen a lot of brilliant faculty members come and go during that time. In particular, there was David Clarkson, of Australia's Stalker Theatre, who works with Dr. Andrew Johnson of the University of Technology in Sydney on multidisciplinary performance works that combine dance and cutting-edge video technology. Long intrigued by the idea of a collaboration with Clarkson, Smith decided that the time was ripe: "I decided this would be the year we'd work together," she says, and Mapping — the 2013 fest's first public performance and a work that's not only technologically out-of-this-world, but also inspired by the sociopolitical inferences of genetic mapping — was born. The collabo with Clarkson, Johnson and choreographer Smith's Frequent Flyers troupe will hit — actually, bombard — the stage of the University of Colorado's ATLAS Black Box theater tonight as a kickoff to the two-week festival. Two kinds of video visuals — images picked up by infrared cameras and skeletal tracking using Xbox Kinect technology — will follow the dancers' movements to create a three-dimensional performance that's visually beautiful and thought-provoking. "It's like being inside of a lava lamp at times," Smith quips, but she's certain it will be like nothing anyone's seen before.
See Mapping at 7 or 9 p.m. in the ATLAS theater on the CU-Boulder campus; tickets are $12 at the door only. For information and a complete schedule of all ADF performances, visit frequentflyers.org.