Teoma Naccarato is a choreographer, performer, dance educator and scholar from Montreal, Canada. She presently resides in London, where she is pursuing a practice-based PhD at the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University. Naccarato completed her MFA in Dance and Technology at the Ohio State University (OSU) in 2011, and has since enjoyed appointments as a Visiting Professor in Dance at Concordia University, Sam Houston State University, Florida State University, and OSU. Naccarato’s choreography for stage, screen, and installation incorporates contemporary dance with interactive video, audio and biosensor technologies to explore vulnerability, intimacy, and uncertainty in live and virtual relations. Naccarato has shared choreography across Canada, the United States, South America, and Europe, with recent presentations of Experience #1167, Synchronism, Beneath the pavement, an ocean, and Gently between us.
Naccarato’s current practice-based research addresses the intersection of bodies and biosensors as a critical site in which to interrogate and elaborate attitudes and approaches towards embodiment in artistic performance. She examines ways in which different disciplines interpret and analyze meaning in/of/from the body, and further, ways in which these practices reflect and promote implicit values based on social, cultural, and political undercurrents. Naccarato’s use of biosensors is guided by the principle that the body can never, by any means, be reduced to bio-data, and yet, biometric archives hint at dynamic processes of relationality between physiology, action, and environment, which are always in motion. Through continued research and creation, Naccarato aims to articulate and actualize frameworks for performance with biosensors that are not based on causality, control, and representation, but rather, which manifest through shared awareness and agency across multiple, fluid assemblies of self, other, and environment. Naccarato’s research has evolved through collaboration with composer John MacCallum from Oakland, and has been supported through residencies at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, France, the Centre for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at UC Berkeley, the Synthesis Centre at Arizona State University, and the Topological Media Lab (TML) at Concordia University.
My artistic practice integrates contemporary dance with responsive video, audio and biosensor technologies to explore vulnerability and intimacy in live and virtual interactions. I aim to make visible, audible, and tangible the hidden, tacit dimensions of embodied cognition, memory, and trauma.
I move, until I become moved. I cultivate sensations inside my body through sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch – present, past, or possible. I repeat. Not the steps, but the sensitive state – physical, emotional and psychological – from which gestures emerged. I search in my flesh to extract and refine traces of meaning and memories, which my intellect cannot yet decipher. I move inwards and outwards until I feel patterns of articulation form, shaping a grammar and cadence of embodied communication. I move, until I am fluent in the vocabulary of my own choreography.
I ask you to move, until you become moved. To feel the laughter in your belly erupt, implode, flutter and release out the tips of your fingers and toes. Repeat. Not the steps, but the process – until qualitative, temporal, and spatial pathways emerge. Repeat, but intensify: make your slow lethargic, your large monstrous, your fierce ferocious. Re-search your interior and exterior, to construct a way of being, knowing and interacting with your self and surroundings. Move, until you make sense in, of, and through your body.
I watch you move, until I feel your laughter beneath my skin. I zoom in to magnify the intricacies of your sensual enunciations – isolating, dislocating, and recomposing your parts as an unfamiliar, virtual whole. You materialize larger than life, intimate yet intangible in the mesh of the projection screen. You gaze into the camera, at us – then redirect our eyes over the curves of your torso, pelvis, and thighs. You let us examine the faint scar on your belly: a site of entrance, of memory, of change. I ask you to move from you scar; to let your scar move you. I watch you move, on stage and screen, until my body understands.
I move, until it moves, with and in me. It is sensate, alive. It can hear, see, and sense my body in ways that you cannot – in ways that I cannot. It lets you hear my touch, see my scream, and taste my gaze. It peels away my skin, dissecting and projecting my inner logic to the monitors and speakers. We listen to my heartbeat, accelerating despite my stillness. I move again, porous, pouring inwards and out, swimming in a dense pool of synesthesia from which my next strokes emerge. We move, enacting and reacting to the mediated passages between us. I choreograph us: as a process, as a relationship, as an experience. We dance together, excavating and engendering the etymology of our embodied performance.
– Teoma Naccarato, 2015