In 2020 we explored the boundary-pushing worlds of dance, choreography and experimental performance.

It might seem difficult to join the dots between experimental theatre, footwork, hybrid performances drawing together choreography, spatial sound and generative, projected visuals, and FDM, or flex dance music, but these are just some of the places that 2020 took us in our ongoing exploration of movement in all its forms.

From the streets of Chicago and Beijing to the theatres of Moscow and Berlin, we have followed a wide variety of dance styles, choreography and performance practices, looking beyond traditional forms to try to understand how the underground is breaking out into the mainstream and vice-versa.

These are some of our favourite movement pieces from throughout the year. For more inspirational performances, you can go back through our Movement archives to find all the work we’ve presented this year..

Ariel Efraim Ashbel – Do The Right Thing

Berlin-based performance artist Ariel Efraim Ashbel describes his 2018 performance as “a reflection on the entanglements of action, ethics and materiality”, with each concept corresponding to a section of its title, ‘Do’, ‘the Right’, ‘Thing’.

This original video work is adapted from the second of the performance’s three acts, each of which correspond to a basic shape, the circle, the square and the triangle. This middle act features original music from LABOUR’s Hacklander / Hatam and a live performance from Nkisi. This is a condensed section of a longer video work, which can be viewed here.

DJ Earl – WRK DAT BODY

This year DJ Earl made a triumphant return with his hotly-anticipated album, BASS + FUNK & SOUL, a wide-ranging showcase of the varying shades of footwork and a testament to the range and ingenuity of one of the best to ever do it.

To mark the occasion, the producer shared a joyous visual for album highlight ‘WRK DAT BODY’, which features a frenetic montage of high-energy movement from King FrostStylezTR and Breezy Godzilla.

Hitmakerchinx – False Profit

Hitmakerchinx describes flex dance music as both “a vessel that can bend genres through dancehall rhythm” and “the future of music”. After watching the artist dancing to his own high-energy productions, you might be inclined to agree with him.

Back in 2018, prior to his China tour, Hitmakerchinx was able to find the time to link up with promoter Dirty Dishes and filmmaker Lui Chen to film some choreography for his track ‘False Profit’, bringing FDM from its birthplace of Brooklyn to the streets of Beijing.

StratoFyzika – THÆTA

StratoFyzika are an interdisciplinary art collective working with interactive technologies to link movement, spatial sound and projected visuals in large-scale, immersive performance pieces.

In THÆTA, the group’s third performance for stage that took place back in 2015, the group explore the liminal state between waking and sleep known as hypnagogia. Choreographer Hen Lovely Bird moves through hypnagogic states along a path representative of a theta brain wave, most commonly associated with drowsiness, meditation and hypnosis.

Taet Vremya – People Doing Moves

Taэт Vremya started life back in 2014 as a contemporary and urban dance group. Growing in size and scale over the last six years, the international performance and art collective now counts among its 40 members performers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, South Korea, Kosovo, France and Japan, who incorporate film, experimental theatre, music and live performance into their thoroughly multi-disciplinary movement practice.

The group describe People Doing Moves as “a conscious exploration of our bodies and their habits.” Self-contained, singular dance moves are devised and repeated in a process that is designed to realise hidden potentials of people’s bodies. The subsequent staging of these moves then allows both performers and audience members to better understand physical relationships between bodies, body parts, objects and actions.

For the above documentation of People Doing Moves, Taэт Vremya have teamed up with Mubert, an A.I.-powered, generative music library. Using the software, the performers’ movements trigger sounds that are algorithmically-generated from infinite music streams personalised for the collective.