DanceTech - video game ballet

BalletMet Columbus' DanceTech opens tonight. You know from reading our print piece that we promised you more, so...

The program has a video-game feel to it, thanks to graphics provided by Alan Price of OSU's Advanced Computing Center for Arts and Design and Capital University graduate Sean Beeson, who writes and composes music for a variety of media, including video games.

Beeson said he was approached by BalletMet following a phone interview he did suggesting he'd like to work on some sort of collaborative project. He said he could never have imagined it would invlude dance, but as his music is often then setting for virtual movement, it made sense.

Beeson said he and choreographer Jimmy Orrante began working on the music selections about eight months ago.

"I started with about 320 music clips," Orrante said, saying the pair ultimately came up with about 40 minutes worth of composition.

"We had to scale back some of the (original, hoped-for) interactivity a bit for the live ballet - it';s hard to stage somethign random," Beeson explained. He said there will be some interactivity, elements that will change from onhe performance to the next.

"It's a slightly different approach," Beeson said, explaining he's been a gamer since he was young and started writing music for games soon after he finished high school. "When you compose music for games it's non-linear, since you don't know how long a person is going play a certain area. So you're writing to set a mood."

For this, Beeson said, his work weas more linear in nature.

"It was important for me to be able to tell a story," Orrante said. "And we wroekd really hard to find a balance between all three elements."

"Little by little," Orrante answered when asked how the pieces all came together. "When we started, we had all this cool stuff and kind of had to ask, 'OK, what do we do with it?'"

It's been fun for the dancers as well, especially, Orrante said, the ones who themselves are gamers.

"Sometimes I have to tell them to focus," he joked.

"It's been fantastic, Beeson said. "It's an entertaining piece of art and dance."

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By: Jim Fischer

4 / 20 / 12

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