Puente: A Study in Interactive Tango

Program Notes
"Puente: A Study in Interactive Tango" is a work for interactive tango dance. Motion sensors are attached to dancer limbs, the data is sent to a computer, and then algorithms then transform movement to sound. This work uses the Interactive Tango Milonga system, an interactive tango system for social dance, as a framework for this performative system allowing for sound outcomes beyond the traditional tango context. The dance is a structured improvisation in movement and sound based on choreography by George and Jairelbhi Furlong.

Argentine tango dance is grounded in the relation be-tween two moving bodies, leader and follower. In every moment, improvised interplay and nonverbal conversation determine movement quality, character and trajectory. Lacking a basic step set to a specified rhythm, the tango couple is free to improvise and determine the rhythmic phrasing and framing of their bodies in relation to the accompanying music.

Biographical Sketch
Courtney Brown is a sound artist, researcher, and tango dancer. Her work has been featured and performed in the United States and Europe, including Ars Electronica (Austria), Diapason Gallery (Brooklyn), International Computer Music Conference (Texas), and NIME Conference (London). Her interactive sound installation and musical instrument, ‘Rawr! A Study in Sonic Skulls’ received an Honorary Mention from the 2015 Prix Ars Electronica. She received Fulbright Fellowship (2013-4) to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she began work on Interactive Tango Milonga.

She holds degrees in Interdisciplinary Digital Media and Performance (DMA) from Arizona State University, in Electroacoustic Music (MA) from Dartmouth College, and in Music and Computer Science (BS) from Loyola University New Orleans. She is an assistant professor at the Center for Creative Computation, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.

Performer Biographical Sketch
Brent Brimhall is a dancer who began his movement training as a martial artist, studying under Peter Crocoll and Philip Selmon. He continued his education by studying ballet, contact improvisation, and post-modern contemporary dance at Arizona State University. As a tango dancer, he has studied with Daniela Borgialli, Nicholas Tapia & Steph Berg, and George & Jairelbhi Furlong, and he has participated in workshops with many tango maestros including Mariano “Chico” Frumboli & Juana Sepulveda and Cristina Sosa & Daniel Nacucchio.