Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Techno Dance Attack Theatre Piece Energizes Empty Storefront

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Techno Dance Attack Theatre Piece Energizes Empty Storefront

Article excerpt

Where others see an abandoned building, Attack Theatre sees an opportunity.

This time, it will transform a former Office Depot at The Waterfront in Homestead into "a theatrical multimedia playground" with a series of video environments produced by resident dancer Dane Toney. Its new evening-length show, "If | Maybe | Then," opens Thursday for a 14-performance run through April 29.

Attack Theatre is forgoing its home inside Pittsburgh Opera's Strip District headquarters for this show to have more room to play with space, both real and virtual.

Co-artistic director Peter Kope, who choreographed the show with his wife, fellow artistic director Michele de la Reza, said Mr. Toney approached them about a year and a half ago with an idea.

"He said, 'I've been really interested in video work, and I want to do a show where we fully invest in video technology and all these different tools out there. What can we do?'"

While Attack Theatre has dabbled in video for shows such as "Back's Seat" (2002) and "Someplace Not Here" (2007), the goal this time was to create a work in which dancers could interact with video instead of merely using it as a backdrop. To learn how to pull this off, Mr. Toney earned a fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University to be an artist in residence in its Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. There he explored current gaming technology and virtual reality systems.

"I really enjoyed that process of learning different computer programs," Mr. Toney says. "We wanted to do something that really could live and breathe and grow with the performance throughout the evening."

The result is a show that intersects dance with technology to play with audiences' perspective and perception of what's unfolding around them.

"'If | Maybe | Then' is this process of what lens do you have to view the work in front of you, and how does that lens affect how you view the work," Mr. …

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