Did You Know? Highlighting the Activity of Artists/Organizations in Our Region: Kinetech Arts

By Dancers' Group


Kinetech Arts is a collective of artists, scientists and technologists, born at KUNST-STOFF arts in January 2013. The word Kinetech is the combination of Kine-sthesia and Tech-nology and is envisioned to be a place for synergy of art and technology, as well as for people with vastly different background and training, working together creatively, making beauty that is beyond what’s possible by a single person.

image of Kinetech soloist
photo by Wiedong Yang

The two directors of Kinetech Arts are Daiane Lopes da Silva and Weidong Yang. Daiane Lopes da Silva is a dancer and choreographer. Her work has been performed in Brazil, France, Belgium and the U.S. In Portugal, she worked with Lisbon Dance Company, Almada Dance Company and DancArte. In the Bay Area, she performed with Robert Moses’ Kin, KUNST-STOFF Dance Company and Labayen Dance. Daiane studied with full scholarship at The Municipal Ballet of Sao Paulo and P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios), directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in Brussels. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, Alpha Beta Kappa, from SFSU. Weidong Yang has indulged in the fields of science (PhD in Physics and MSc in Computer Science, 11 US patents, 20+ peer reviewed publications), dance, photography and Taiji. He has performed with KUNST-STOFF Dance Company, Paco Gomes and Dancers and Mambo Reflection. Weidong also enjoys his work as data scientist.

We asked Daiane and Weidong a few questions:

1. How many performers, dancers, artists and/or technologists do you work with?

It depends on the project. In our current project, The Other Sight, we have one choreographer, six dancers, two musicians, three visual artists and two technologists. Among our general collaborators are, Hack Reactor (a programming school for the 21st century located in downtown San Francisco), Oakland’s MilkBar and Codame (an Art+Tech non-profit in San Francisco). We are fiscally sponsored by SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts.

2. How would you describe your activities and programs?

Kinetech Arts’ main activity happens at KUNST-STOFF arts every Tuesday evening from 6-10pm. We start with two hours of rehearsal with the dancers. Then, we move on to our open lab from 8-10pm where artists, scientists and technologists visit us to explore the endless possibilities between movement, science and technology, connect with other artists, exchange ideas, and share their work in our forum, that is open to the public.

3. What is unique about the work you do?

Our work often incorporates nondeterministic processes, similar to many natural phenomena like quantum mechanics. We incorporate physics simulations that are influenced, rather than controlled, by the dancers through interactive technologies.We also borrow from the process of scientific discovery in our art making. We employ the complementary nature of the two phases in the process, discovery and development, one open and exploratory and the other directed and goal oriented.

4. If no one knew anything about Kinetech Arts, what would you want them to know?

Kinetech Arts is a collective of curious minds passionate about bringing together art and science to create amazing performances. And our labs are open to the public.

5. What has been the most rewarding part of your work?

There is nothing more satisfying than meeting brilliant minds, making new friends, discovering new talents and seeing people from all disciplines inspiring and learning from each other. It’s also satisfying to see ideas grow into projects that become performances.

6. Do you have a favorite performance or memorable moment with Kinetech Arts?

A section of The Other Sight has been my favorite performance so far. It is a duet about perspectives we don’t have, things we can’t touch and borders we can’t cross. It combines dance, technology and visual art. We use two human sized dual sided wax paintings as backdrop. Depending on the lighting, audience sees either the front image, or the back image. We also incorporate visuals created by simulation of liquid movement that is interactive with movement, as well as visual artists’ real time drawing, as lighting to both dancers and the painting.

7. What programs or activities do you have coming up?

Other than our weekly open labs, our next performance will be the full version of The Other Sight at ODC Theater, July 19-20, as part of SPF7 organized by SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts. From September to November, our artistic director [Daiane Lopes da Silva] will be at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts asa resident artist. Starting in July, Kinetech Arts will collaborate with Oakland’s Milkbar on a year-long project, Summer, Winter, Spring, to explore the varying rhythms of time, movement and light through the intersection of durational live performance and time-lapse site-specific film.

8. What’s a future goal or dream that you have for Kinetech Arts?

We envision Kinetech Arts becoming the center of innovation in bringing science into performing arts, supporting research and experiments, consistently creating cutting edge works that are pushing the boundaries, and that engage and enrich people’s lives.

9. Do you have a favorite dance move?

Moonwalk (Michael Jackson’s moonwalk is great, but we are talking about the real moonwalk).

10. A favorite song to dance to?

We love dancing to salsa music.

Learn more about Kinetech Arts at kinetecharts.org

This article appeared in the Jul/Aug 2014 issue of In Dance.