Created for the Royal Ballet’s New Work, New Music programme with the London Sinfonietta in February 2019.
CHOREOGRAPHY: ALEXANDER WHITLEY
MUSIC: MICA LEVI
COSTUME DESIGN: HYEMI SHIN
LIGHTING DESIGN: ANDREAS FUCHS
‘Not me. Not that. But not nothing, either. A "something" that I do not recognize as a thing. A weight of meaninglessness, about which there is nothing insignificant, and which crushes me. On the edge of non-existence and hallucination, of a reality that, if I acknowledge it, annihilates me.’
Powers of Horror, An Essay on Abjection.
The concept of the uncanny valley has emerged from the field of robotics design and suggests that objects which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit uncanny, or strangely familiar, feelings of eeriness in observers.The valley is the weird chasm separating the human from the almost-human. As technology rapidly advances the ability to simulate and augment aspects of human experience, the lines between authentic and fake, fiction and reality, are becoming increasingly blurred, making the world a more ambiguous, uncertain place.
Uncanny Valley draws on the haunting, otherworldly quality of Mica Levi’s score and ponders the impact of modern technologies on the human condition; where our desires are drawn into an increasingly endless space of possibility and simulated connection keeps us engaged but ultimately dissatisfied, leaving us to drift side by side in a situation of detached unity.