On the art of murmuration

“On the art of murmuration” is a dance piece inspired by birds behavioural phenomena called murmuration, exhibited when hundreds of birds, usually starlings, fly together in the sky. The reasons for murmuration are still not clear. However, it is presumed, it is a way of birds to protect themselves from predators who get frightened by ever changing shape of the block and unexpected way of moving.

In search for understanding of physics of murmuration Craig Reynolds, in 1986, developed Boids Algorithm, an artificial life program which simulates flocking behaviour of the birds. The complexity of the performance arise from 3 simple rules applied to every individual involved in the group, which are:

separation: steer to avoid crashing into one another
alignment : steer to move towards more or less the same direction
cohesion: steer to stay together as a group

It is presumed each bird can perceive and analyse the movement of max 7 other neighbours at a time, to average and predict the direction of the flight.

In “On the art of murmuration Annika Dörr and myself take on the task to recreate this phenomena by working with ‚invisible dancers‘ (creating group environment where the decision making is executed not only by our individual choice but also by necessity to adapt to ever changing environment) and by divers movement interpretation of what following one another means. The dance score of this work is very precisely composed with the music structure of Pachelbel’s Cannon in D, and has certain geographical structure.

On the art of murmuration

Choreographie: Justyna Kalbarczyk
Entwickelt und aufgeführt mit: Annika Dörr, Justyna Kalbarczyk
Musik: Pachelbel Kanon, Bach

Das Stück wird am 21. Oktober im Theater Nürnberg uraufgeführt.