The Secret Project (1999)

secrecy n. condition of being secret.

half/angel’s dance theatre production The Secret Project was co-produced by Media & Visual Arts / Theatre Arts at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and the Institute for Choreography & Dance, Ireland and performed in Canada, Ireland and The Netherlands. The Secret Project implemented several years of performance research into motion sensing technologies / text and choreography at the Banff Centre, and focused on the idea of the ‘secret’. The performers were Jools Gilson, Cindy Cummings and Mary Nunan.

secrecy adj. about 1378, hidden, concealed, private; borrowed from Old French secret, concealed, private, learned, borrowing from Latin, and borrowed into English from Latin, secretus set apart, withdrawn, hidden

Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland (2001)
Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2000)
Institute for Choreography and Dance, Cork, Ireland (1999)
The Eric Harvey Theatre, Banff Centre, Canada (1999)

“And the delicacy of Jools Gilson-Ellis’s performance in ‘The Secret Project’ created with Richard Povall, suggested that motion-sensor technology could sometimes create effects as subtle as live dancing.” ~ New York Times, 3rd March 1999

Performance of extracts from The Secret Project :
Navigating Intelligence, Media & Visual Arts, Banff Centre, Canada (1999)
International Association of Word & Image Studies, Scripps College, Claremont, CA, US (1999)
International Dance and Technology, Arizona State University, US (1999)
Discipline & Deviance: Genders, Technologies, Machines, Duke University, US (1998)
Out of the Box: The Future of Interface, Media & Visual Arts, Banff Centre, Canada (1998)

out loud
tell me
say it
out loud
bring it
into the
that secret
the one
left over
that omission
you made
that thing
never said
I want
the knowledge
of it
in me
press it damply
out of you
tongue to
breath to heart
say it
out loud

Tell me
Snow Ghosts

Articles about The Secret Project:

Jools Gilson-Ellis (2003) ‘Mouth Ghosts: The Taste of the Os-Text.’ In: Jane de Gay & Lizbeth Goodman (eds).
Languages of Theatre Shaped by Women. Bristol: Intellect, pp. 153 – 175.

Jools Gilson-Ellis (2003) ‘Speaking and Dancing at the Same Time: An Interview with Jools Gilson-Ellis.‘ In Theodores, Diana (ed.) Dancing on The Edge of Europe: Irish Choreographers in Conversation. Cork, Ireland: Institute for Choreography & Dance, pp. 138 – 147.

Jools Gilson-Ellis (2002) ‘Loa & Behold: Voice Ghosts in the New Technoculture.‘ In: Colin Beardon & Lone Malmborg (eds). Digital Creativity: A Reader. Oxford & New York: Taylor & Francis, pp. 229 – 240.

Jools Gilson-Ellis (2000) ‘Girling Troubled Spaces: Choreography, Writing and BigEye.’ In: William A. Smith. (ed). International Dance & Technology 1999, Lethbridge AB & Columbus OH: Fullhouse, pp. 26-29.

Sophie Hansen (1999) ‘The Secret Project: A Quiet Revolution in New Media Work.’ Animated. Autumn, pp. 36-7

Richard Povall (2000) – ‘Making Emotional Spaces in The Secret Project: Building Emotional Interactive Spaces.’ In: Consciousness Reframed. Ed. Roy Ascott. Exeter: Intellect Press, pp. 64-68.

Michael Seaver (2001) ‘The Secret Project– half/angel’. Programme notes for performance at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Feb.

Press Articles / Reviews:

Jennifer Dunning. ‘Computer Nerds Meet Tutus: A Pas de Deux for Dancers and Technology’. New York Times, March 3, 1999, Section E: 5
Maureen Kelleher, ‘Hidden Depths.’ The Examiner, Nov 2nd 1999: 22
Seona Mac Reamoinn, ‘Sound and Motion.’ The Sunday Tribune. Nov 7th 1999: 7
Gerry McCarthy, ‘Keeping Secrets Down to Earth.’ The Sunday Times. Oct 31st 1999, Culture: 19
Julie Pithers, ‘The Secret Project: Moving with Technology.’ Calgary News & Entertainment Weekly. (Sept 30 – Oct 6, 1999) 4 (40): 28.
Michael Seaver, ‘Dancing with Wings.’ The Irish Times. (Nov 4th 1999): 16
Michael Seaver ‘The Secret Project – Firkin Crane, Cork.’ The Irish Times. (Nov 9th 1999): 11

You keep secrets
in your mouth.
I see them
tiny pieces of
white paper
covered in plastic
to your back

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Project Programme

Seaver Programme Notes

Project Programme