New Work New Music. Artists of The Royal Ballet.  ©ROH, 2019. Ph by Alic....jpg

 UNCANNY VALLEY

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.’

 Julia Kristeva

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.